How to Optimize OKRs for Superior Performance, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) the goal-setting methodology for the way we work today is utilized by some of the largest and most successful corporations in existence. Alphabet, Intel, and Intuit are great examples of tech companies who follow the protocol. Today use of OKRs has spread to other fields, such as BMW, Kroger, and Anheuser-Busch. OKRs are adaptable to virtually any business or organization regardless of life stage; start-up, scaling-up, or mature.

In the summary of his book “Measure What Matters”, John Doerr recaps the most important components of OKRs for optimum performance. If you’re considering OKRs to improve your company’s strategy execution, or, have already adopted OKRs and want to optimize your results, we suggest you read on.

The Four Superpowers of OKRs

Focus and Commit to Priorities. Senior management’s responsibility is to determine the three to five quarterly objectives which will truly move the needle. We suggest you look to your Mission and Vision Statements for inspiration. Keep in mind these Objectives drive your employee’s activities and inform the organization of what to focus on during that period.

Align and Connect. A key feature of the OKR protocol is transparency throughout the organization of team’s and employee’s Objectives and Key Results. This shared 360° view of the company illustrates how the individual’s role supports the company’s larger Objectives and identifies cross-dependencies.

Track for Accountability. In an OKR environment the one “must do” is frequent Check-Ins, monitoring and tracking performance. OKR software is designed so that progress may be updated weekly with results being visible to all. If results are lagging the OKR is “at risk”. Real-time feedback enables timely course corrections.

Stretch for Amazing. At Google, there are two types of OKRs, Committed, (goals that must be attained) and Aspirational. The Aspirational OKRs are audacious, “moon shots”, they follow the Gospel of 10X”. We recommend you include both types in your goal-setting, Committed OKRs for things like sales budgets, and aspirational OKRs when you seek a more dramatic change in execution.

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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