How to Use OKRs to Improve Strategic Alignment, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

How aligned is your organization? Does your workforce know your Mission? Your Vision? Your Strategic Plan? Are your corporate Objectives openly communicated to contributors at every level? Most importantly do the employees in your company understand how their role contributes to the achievement of those corporate Objectives? In far too many companies the answer to these questions is a resounding no.

In his bestseller, “Measure What Matters”, John Doerr cites studies and industry experts who tell us:

  • Only 7 percent of employees fully understand their company’s business strategies
  • CEO’s globally believe that a lack of alignment is the #1 obstacle to executing strategy

If alignment is high on your list of priorities, read on to see how OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) enable the transparency, visibility, and connectivity necessary to create corporate alignment.

OKRs: Transparency, Visibility, and Connectivity

OKR software provides visibility of corporate Objectives throughout the organization. Every employee can see the Objectives of everyone else in the organization all the way up to the CEO’s OKRs. This transparency creates the environment for the alignment you are seeking.

Doerr tells us that “Public goals are more likely to be attained than goals held in private. Merely flipping the switch to “open” lifts achievement.”

OKRs are cascaded down through the organization to align to corporate Objectives. Unlike other methodologies, OKRs encourage “bottom-up” goal setting as well. Contributors, in concert with their managers, create personal goals that support the corporate Objectives.

Connectivity is another significant benefit of the OKR protocol. The 360° visibility of an OKR dashboard helps to identify cross-functional dependencies. A major product launch requires teamwork and coordination between multiple disciplines such as the product development, marketing, logistics, and sales departments.

And, each team has visibility into the progress other teams are making in support of the initiative. Employees are more motivated when their colleagues can see their progress. Collaboration replaces silos, redundancies, and disciplines being at cross purposes.

These are the ways you improve strategic alignment, and, an aligned organization is far more likely to execute strategy.

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!

Image Credit: stockvault

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