Top 6 Lessons from Google’s OKR (Objectives and Key Results) Video

In a recent YouTube video, Google Ventures’ Rick Klau gives insider tips about how Google achieves monumental success through strategic management. As we mentioned previously, is a tremendous interest from all kinds of businesses globally in using goals-management to manage and accelerate performance – this 1 hour and 22 minute long (loooong!) Google OKR video was watched over 250,000 times (i.e. that is beyond *VIRAL* in the world of business videos).

Below we discuss what the OKR goals management process is all about along with some key insights.

OKRs: What are they?

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results.

Objectives are the statement of “WHAT” needs to be accomplished. Think of an objective as the name of the group of its measurable KRs. And Key Results (KRs) answer the question of “how will I measure the achievement of the objective?” – Each objective has a set of 1-5 key results. Key Results must be specific; they ideally would have a quantifiable measure or KPI and time-bound. They also should be worded as focused on outcomes and results, not activities.

How do they work?

In a quarter, each individual should have no more than 4-5 objectives at a time, with no more than 4-5 key results for each. More than half of an organization’s OKRs should come from bottom up, so that managers and their directs engage in a collaborative negotiating process to determine objectives.

What’s the time frame?

Klau recommends giving a full quarter to see an objective through, but if you have a time line in place that might work better, that’s fine – just don’t try to squeeze too much in too fast. 12 OKRs in a quarter would be too much – would only give one week per objective, which is not enough time to see it through.

Why use them?

How to Set OKR Goals like Google: Top 10 Tips
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OKRs impose discipline because each person’s priorities align with company objectives. They provide clarity by outlining what’s expected of each employee. The transparency of letting everyone see everyone else’s OKRs inspires high levels of performance.

What happens when an objective is failed?

It’s not actually failure; in fact, you gain valuable insights – data, even – to determine why the objective was not completed. From there, you can assess where you need to go next quarter, how to avoid obstacles, and how to allocate resources properly moving forward.

Will they work in any organization?

Yes. No company is too small, and it’s never too early to start, although the earlier you implement OKRs, the better.

What did you learn from watching the Google Ventures video? Atiim has  compiled dozens more insights about OKRs, including how you can use our product to implement the OKR process using our streamlined, hassle-free approach.

What else? What are your thoughts on OKRs, now that you know a little bit about them? What questions do you still have about how they work?

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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