You might be familiar with the term OKR – Objectives and Key Results. Rather than being determined top-down like KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), OKR’s are determined bottom-up. Objectives are the dream; Key Results are the success criteria, a way to measure incremental progress towards the objective.
Objectives are qualitative and Key Results are quantitative. OKRs are not the same as employee evaluations. They are about the company’s goals and how each employee contributes to those goals. Performance evaluations, which are entirely about how an employee performed in a given period, are independent of OKRs.
The cadence of accountability is the practice of teams meeting frequently to review progress towards the most important goal. This keeps individuals and teams more focused on what is important, rather than what is urgent. Regular check-in sessions also help to reduce tension in teams.
In John Doerr’s book Measure What Matters, it talks about why OKR’s success demands The CEO follow the rules and set personal OKR’s.
It is important for CEO’s to always deliver the companies’ Core Values, Purpose, and Strategy Statement in every leadership meeting and develop an effective evaluation system for their leadership team.
In one of the 4 decisions of Scaling Up – Execution, it provides three key elements to develop OKR’s.
1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.
2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators.
3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms.(Cadence of Accountability) Compounding the value of your priority and metrics
At Strategy & Execution advisors we call these three Execution Habits, Strategic Discipline. They’re the key to building Execution Excellence.
Strategic Discipline follows the same formula for developing OKR’s:
– Establish your main Priority (Your ONE THING)
– Metrics, and the value of pairing key results with qualitative measures
How do you keep your team focused on their OKR’s?
This is the third key in OKR’s: Accountability.
A Cadence Of Accountability
Meeting rhythms: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and Annual Meetings, provide the framework to achieve accountability.
In Patrick Lencioni’s ‘The Advantage‘, he shares three reasons Group Meetings produce better Accountability.
1. When members of a team demand accountabilities during a meeting, everyone receives the message simultaneously. Accountability is expected and you will be called on to deliver your Success Criteria each week. No one should make the same mistake twice of not being prepared. This saves time; no one has to learn the same lesson again. Groom your leadership team with your DNA.
2. All team members know that the leader is holding everyone to their accountabilities, which prevents them from wondering, “is the boss is doing his job?” A culture of accountability is reinforced. This increases accountability.
3. Finally, it serves to reinforce the culture of accountability, which increases the likelihood that team members will do the same for one another. When leaders—and peers—limit their accountability discussions to private conversations, they leave people wondering whether those discussions are happening. This often leads to unproductive hallway conversations and conjecture about who knows what about whom.
Everyone in your organization should have OKR’s. Every meeting, beginning with Daily Huddles, provides an opportunity to report your progress on your Priority.
In Measure What Matters, John Doerr shares his very first OKR when he started work at Intel.
He was an intern at the time.
When your intern’s follow the same performance goals and objectives as your leadership team, you know you’ve cascaded your company’s discipline for achievement throughout your organization effectively!
What’s your businesses top Priority for this year? This Quarter? What’s Your One Thing? Who is accountable for achieving it? Does your leadership team own Objectives and Key Results to achieve your top priority this year and quarter?
If your leadership team isn’t clear on your top priority, do you really believe your organization is equipped to achieve anything of lasting value this year?
If you and your team struggling to achieve objectives download Andy Grove’s 7 Rules for Basic OKR Hygiene.
Ted Bonel – Strategy & Execution Advisors
Need assistance to help your team achieve your objectives to grow your business? Contact me at tedb@strategyandexecution.
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We have been providing organisations and their leaders with facilitation support and executive education focused on strategy development and strategy execution for more than 20 years. Using business models such as Scaling Up, Exponential Organizations, E-Myth Mastery, Outthinker etc, we support organisations seeking to create or refine excellent strategies and execute them quickly and effectively.
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