Business World is turning faster than ever before. Traditional annual business planning, target setting cycles and leadership methods are creating less impact. Organisations and managers need faster planning cycles and a common, modern leadership framework which fits to their team members. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) combine agile planning cycles with a modern leadership style and transparent goal setting in order to boost intrinsic motivation and to execute strategies successfully.
OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is a management framework you might have heard of in connection with Google, LinkedIn, Oracle or Twitter. OKR is a simple, fast-cadence, bottom-up process that engages and facilitates prioritisation, collaboration, alignment, transparency, entrepreneurialism and the acceleration of outcomes in an organisation. Even if you are not Google, OKRs help to connect the strategic dimensions of vision, mission and the company´s strategy with the operational level. Main goal is to set clear focus for the next three months across an organisation´s management, throughout departments and employees in order to execute your strategies.
Even employees in agile, growing companies very often miss the clarity towards the bigger picture. Although this seems to be a typical downside of much bigger multinational enterprises. OKRs help to provide the neccessary clarity for employees where their focus is on and what they contribute. With a disciplined goal setting process, the management integrates bottom-up input to decide where to concentrate on for the next 3 months. This way the vision, mission and strategy is being constantly translated into small digestable chunks. Furthermore they decide on resources across departments and avoid that employees or departments run behind opportunities off target.
OKRs help us to execute our strategy and focus. We set, communicate and monitor goals and results while we better align dependencies across teams.
As a manager today, you need to plan, act and react faster than ever. Traditional annual planning cycles are outdated before they are signed off. Today, a manager has to deal with uncertainty more than ever before. Strategies and tactics have to be based even more on assumptions. Thus, we need a system to operationalise in an agile way.
In terms of leadership, our employees expect to understand the big picture and what´s their contribution to it. As a result, we will have difficulties to attract motivated and skilled employees in the future, if we stick to "old school" authocratic leadership styles.
OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) combine modern transformational leadership principles with an agile management approach. It fits perfectly to today´s business world and it does fit to pretty much all organisation types. OKRs help to radically focus, align, motivate and accelerate output of organisations and teams with OKRs.
There are clear rules. OKRs describe a limited set of objectives and key results, in order to set focus for the company and their individual departments for the next three months. Further it defines how these goals can be successfully achieved. Each objective will be specifically described with a defined number of key results in order to identify the value drivers. The objectives (O's) are a motivating, challenging description of a desired result for one of your key priorities you want to focus on. Whereas key results (KR's) describe a very specific, measurable path, towards the achievement of these objectives. They specify how to measure the achievement of objectives and how the results are evaluated. The process to get there includes bottom up input of team members.
The model is limited to a maximum of five Objectives, with about four KeyResults. Limitation is key. The great advantage of this framework is to ensure that the objectives of every level can be broken down (cascaded) to the respective level below. The top company targets deliver the Big Picture.