Dispelling OKR Myths: Senior Managers Don’t Do OKRs

It is said that OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a simple methodology with a simple language. There are no hard and fast rules, and there is no GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). So, much of what has been written of OKRs, taught by consultants, and espoused by OKR Software providers, is open to interpretation. As a result, we have misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and outright “Myths” about the process.

This series of blogs will debunk many of the most prevalent misconceptions.

OKR Myth #11: OKRs are meant to drive execution throughout the organization; however; they are not required of senior management

Two primary goals of OKRs are focus and alignment of the entire organization on the company’s top priorities. In his New York Times bestseller, “Measure What Matters,” John Doerr speaks of the Superpowers of OKRs. The first Superpower is “Focus and Commit to Priorities.”

The logical place to start implementing OKRs is determining the company’s most important priorities for the next three, six, and twelve months. This is the job of senior leadership. Once leadership has determined these initiatives for the period, it is key for them to “commit” to the priorities and the process!

Understand these initial OKRs set the direction for the organization and determine what work takes priority for the period. The best leaders commit to the process in word and in action and communicate the “why” as well as the “what” to their organizations. These actions create focus.

The cascading of OKRs through the organization creates the alignment. The top priorities start with senior management and cascade through their teams and departments to the individual level.

In a true OKR execution, everyone does OKRs, everyone. In fact, Larry Page, co-founder of Google, continues to develop personal OKRs to this very day some twenty years after his introduction to the concept.

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!


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