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Objective and Key Results / OKR’s

Updated: May 9, 2023

In the 1970’s OKR’s were introduced by Andrew Grove as a way of improving his company- Intel. It was then adopted and refined by his employee John Doerr. Doerr was later approached by Google to help their company grow, he did this using OKR’s to focus their efforts as a result, Google, Amazon, NETFLIX and others, all use OKR’s today.

OKR’s are a motivational management tool that helps to make it clear to teams what is important for a company. They are transparent operatives thus enables all working members to understand their role and goals in a company, they see clearly how these goals are achievable.

OKR’s plan what people are going to do, track their progress vs plan and help you stay focused on the most important goals.

Defining OKR’s Firstly the ‘O’ stands for ‘Objectives’ Objectives are your Goals, ask yourself what are my goals and; • Are they realistic and aggressive? • Are they tangible? • Are they obvious to an observer? • Are they successful/achievable?

Secondly ‘KR’ stands for Key Results. These are your measurable milestones, and convey how the Objective will be achieved. However, ‘Key Results’ can be easily mistaken for a task, but what they are, are mini goals used to achieve the main Objective.

E.g if your Objective is to increase company revenue your Key Result might be, to close 10 deals and make $100,000. This is not a task but a Result that you are aiming for in order to achieve the main ‘Objective’.

To Set OKR´s In order to set the OKR’s you should understand the difference between; Committed and Aspirational. Committed OKR’s are goals that are agreed upon and are achievable -schedules can be adjusted to ensure that they are delivered Aspirational OKR’s are long-term or Low-Level Objectives. They are ongoing goals that you’d like to achieve but have no idea how to get there. They should stay on the OKR and be revisited until completed.

Commit to three to five top objectives (what you need to achieve per cycle) and three to four key results

John F Kenedy’s Aspirational Goal was to send a man to the moon within 10 years. He didn’t know how this would happen but nonetheless, he stuck to his goal and revisited it periodically until its success.

Why OKR’s? - It works! This method initiated by ‘John Doerr’ for companies like; Google, Amazon and Twitter to name but a few, have all gone on to be billion - trillion dollar businesses.

The Benefit of OKR's • They set specific measurable and time-bound goals that are easier to monitor and achieve • Impose a disciplined goal setting approach • Increase transparency of work done and goal achieved • Serves as a communication vehicle that shows others what you are trying to accomplish • They encourage collaboration • Employee work is connected to the companies strategic plan Benefits for employees Research shows that 70% of employees want • More clarity regarding company objectives • Individual goals aligned with company goals • Be active contributors • Know that what they do matters

Manager led Coaching A manager will have regular meetings with the team to assess progress and 1-1 meetings to assess personal progress. This is not to judge progress but to aid progress.

• What you've done to achieve the goal in the period specified • How you think you are performing • How the course could be improved if underachieving • If excelling how can burnout be avoided • When are you most engaged/less engaged • Strengths • What types of learning might benefit

Over the next 6 months what should be the focus

An employer should prep and ask themselves • Am I on track • Have I identified areas of opportunities • Do I understand how my work connects to the broader Milestone • What feedback can I give my manager

This process fosters; Transparency - Focus - Alignment - Engagement

The Five Super Powers of OKR 1. Focus 2. Commit to top priorities 3. Align and connect the company and teamwork. 4. Track for accountability/progress 5. Stretch for amazing

Why OKR It’s a way to run your life, your team your company. It creates focus and prioritization. It aligns team effort and makes sure everyone is working towards the same goal.

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