OKRs are quickly gaining traction as one of the most powerful and agile ways to maximize corporate performance. One of the main reasons is that the return on investment in terms of the value-to-effort ratio is extremely high. OKRs are nimble and straightforward to implement, and typically generate huge returns for adopters. To give a better sense of what an OKR looks like, there is a video link below that walks through a practical example of an OKR.
OKR objectives have a few key characteristics: First, the objective is qualitative. We do not include numbers in OKR objectives. Second, the objective is attainable. Worst thing you can do with an OKR objective is to set something that people don’t feel they can reach. And third, it provides business value. That is, from a critical thinking point of view, the company feels that ifthey expand the footprint into new international markets, thenbusiness value is going to be created. This validation process is very important in choosing the best OKRs.
Key results also have several distinct characteristics. Three of the most critical are firstly, they need to be quantitative. There needs to be a number in there so we can assess whether or not the result was achieved. Second, key results need to be specific. There can’t be any vagueness or ambiguity about them. And third, key results need to drive the right behavior. That is, they need to drive behavior that is going to help achieve the objective, which has already been determined to add business value.
Alignment in connecting OKRs
One of the most powerful applications of OKRs is that they can easily be cascaded down throughout the organization. In other words, we start with the corporate OKRs. From those we can create a series of business unit OKRs, then team-based OKRs, and from the team OKRs we can create individual OKRs for employees (all of them, or just a chosen grouping of employees). Because all of the OKRs are linked right back up to the corporate OKRs, which are based on strategy, vertical alignment is a near certainty which is very important when trying to improve performance.
OKRs can be very powerful for promoting teamwork and goal congruence, which lead to maximizing corporate performance. Ensuring alignment with the value proposition is critical; strategy mapping is a major boon in this context. This short video quickly walks you through all of the steps involved in building a strategy map.
Call now or contact us online if you would like to better understand how OKRs can revolutionize your organization. Whether you are in Toronto or elsewhere, we can assist in your efforts to better formulate and execute your business strategy. And stay tuned for more blogs and videos on the mechanics of OKRs.
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