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Your organization has decided to work with OKR. Or maybe it’s a discussion that’s still on the table. Either way, you might well be wondering: why should I care?
You’ve also probably heard the words “alignment”, “transparency”, “focus”, and “engagement” for the umpteenth time. You’ve also likely watched a bunch of videos, read articles, and perhaps even been through training that primarily highlights the benefits a CEO, execs, managers, and the organization as a whole will get. Indeed, it sounds promising but it just doesn’t resonate with you. Am I right?
Remember: OKR is a team sport. The benefits you’ve heard are all well and true — OKR helps an organization execute its strategy, improves alignment, transparency, focus, and engagement. Plus, a lot more! But it’s critical to note that the magic happens at the team level. Teams and individuals pull the strings and drive the organization forward. Without you, there’s none of that.
So, here’s what’s in it for you.
Why should you care about OKR?
OKR gives you purpose
Did you know that only 5% of employees know their organization’s strategy? That means a whopping 95% of employees either don’t know or understand their organization’s strategy. Are you in that boat? 🤔
The truth is, every organization has a purpose; its Ultimate Goal and strategy. And if that strategy isn’t communicated to you in an understandable way, you’ll be running around in circles not knowing whether the work you’re doing is actually moving the needle. In that case, the (hard) reality is that your work probably lacks purpose.
The OKR framework and a tool like Perdoo put strategy first, ensuring that the organization’s direction is crystal clear to everyone. It provides the why behind the work that you’re doing. In doing so, the Company goals are transparent all the way from the Ultimate Goal down to the annual OKRs. Teams (and you) now have enough context and perspective to connect the dots and work on goals that have the biggest impact.
You’ll own those goals!
Leadership tends to outline annual goals/OKRs for the company — defining the main themes the organization strives to achieve over a given period of time. These company goals describe core themes the organization sets out to achieve over a given period of time. While they’re narrow enough to provide direction, they’re also broad enough to give teams the room to create their own OKRs that support these longer-term goals. Our OKR coaches typically recommend the following setup: 50% of OKRs should come from the top, and the other 50% bottom-up.
With that, you and your teams have a compass in your hands, allowing you the space to create and take ownership of goals that will drive the organization forward. And honestly, there’s no one better than you to have that responsibility — you’re at the frontline, working with processes on a daily basis, experiencing firsthand where things can be improved. You have your finger on the pulse and can, therefore, choose the outputs (Initiatives) that will make the biggest impact on the OKRs.
Own those goals!
Understand what’s expected of you
Without clearly defined goals, it can often feel like you start something and then get pulled in different directions. Do you feel like you have a lot of work on your plate but don’t know where you’re heading? Well, that’s typically a result of shifting priorities and reactive efforts to respond to (any) minor fluctuating circumstances — internal or external.
With OKR, priorities are clear. You’ve chosen a battle to fight, and have the option to say “no” to things that aren’t worth fighting for at that given period of time. You’ve identified what’s critical, goals are set, resources are committed, and you know what you’re responsible for. That way, you keep focused on what really matters.
Know what’s expected of you!
Know your impact
There’s something so satisfying about completing a project, task, or even just striking off that to-do on your list. It’s often tempting to create masses of such tasks and projects, but without a defined outcome you’d like to achieve, is that task really helping you, your team, or organization take that leap forward? Difficult to say. 🤷♀️
With OKRs, you begin with that intended outcome — your Objective. Once that’s locked in, you formulate gauges of success — your Key Results. The world is now your oyster. You’re free to create all the Initiatives, tasks, and projects to help you move the needle on those Key Results, and achieve that Objective.
You’re now not only showing the work you’re completing but you’ll actually be able to quantify the impact you and your team are making as a result of this effort. It’s rewarding personally but is also evidence to support your career growth. This is also visible to the entire company, so everyone can see it too.
Make that impact!
Do you care now?
I know it’s not always that black and white, but the bottom line is that OKR is about the entire organization — it benefits the CEO but it also equally benefits you and your team. It starts with leadership and strategy, streamlining all efforts from the ground up, giving you the trust and tools to make magic happen.
So, should you care about OKR? My vote: yes, I most definitely do care about OKR! What’s yours?