For many companies, the failure to align represents the single greatest challenge to strategy execution. In an HBR study, over ninety percent of employees do not fully understand the company’s goals, or what’s expected of them. That is a staggering, and sobering thought, your greatest resource, and possibly your single largest expense, your workforce, does not understand what you’re trying to accomplish as an organization, or how they should be contributing.
The role of management is to manage. The role of leadership to set direction that will inform the efforts of the entire organization. Sounds easy, so why is it so difficult and complicated? To quote John Doerr, the self-proclaimed Johnny Appleseed of OKRs, “Ideas are easy, it’s execution that’s everything.”
What’s needed is a simple goal-setting methodology that improves clarity, direction, focus, and communication. That system is OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).
A definition of OKRs and Their Single Most Important Benefit
OKRs are a modern solution to the goal-setting challenges all companies face. They work for organizations, for teams, they even work for individuals. The Objectives are “What” we want to accomplish, the Key Results are the “How” we are going to do it and how we measure it. Objectives and Key Results, what and how.
Most importantly, OKRs dramatically improve alignment. They create the laser focus needed to succeed in today’s markets. The methodology enables leaders to communicate to the workforce so that everyone understands the company’s priorities and how their individual goals relate to the mission.
How the Transparency and Vision of OKR Software Creates Alignment
A robust, dedicated OKR Software platform enables the transparency and vision required to create alignment. The best executions accommodate the following features:
- Goal alignment through cascading Objectives top-down through the organization, and bottom-up wherein individuals have input to their goals, always in support of the top corporate priorities
- Visual Alignment Charts so that everyone can see the OKRs of others, and how they cascade from one level to the next
- Horizontal visibility of the goals of other teams and departments to see how OKRs connect, how they eliminate silos and duplication, how they identify cross-dependencies and encourage collaboration
A two-year Deloitte study found that no single factor has more impact on corporate performance than “clearly defined goals that are written down and shared freely. Goals create alignment, clarity, and job satisfaction.”
We began this article by identifying clarity, focus, and communication as keys to strategy execution. We sincerely hope this article explains how OKRs and OKR Software can create these in your organization to drive better performance.
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!