What are OKRs?

by Emma Stocks | May 20, 2019

time icon 2 mins

OKR Meaning

The meaning of OKRs is Objectives and Key Results. That’s it. You have your three word acronym. As a methodology, OKRs are an agile approach to motivating and managing performance in line with business strategy.

Objectives and Key Results is a research-based methodology with its origins rooted deep in Silicon Valley. Despite beginning within the tech sector, it has since been adopted across a wide number of business sectors.

When you adopt the OKR methodology into your business, you’ll find stronger, shared and systematic focus on growth. This means you can scale faster and high performance becomes commonplace. The stronger sense of shared purpose also means that engagement and motivation is greater.

Striking a Balance

One of the key factors of setting successful OKRs is striking the right balance. You need to ensure that your challenge, growth and achievement levels are all correct for you and your business. This means you get the success you need, and your people are motivated rather than burnt out.

Setting Your OKRs

We always encourage clients to set objectives that focus on growth, be it for the business, the team or the individual (and there’s no reason why all 3 couldn’t be achieved in one hit).

If it’s not focussed on growth, then why is it in your focus?

For an OKR to be growth-focussed, we believe it needs to meet one of these challenges:

  • To do something new
  • To do something differently
  • To do significantly more than has been done before

New represents growth in that it will either lead to enhanced skills, capacity or capability which can all be used to increase revenue.

Differently, represents growth for much the same as new, but it’s about building on what you have already. Both represent innovation, which is the lifeblood of even the most transactional of businesses. Both these carry the risk of it not going to plan, but there’s still huge value in that as learning.

Tools and Advice

Now that you know the OKR meaning, why not visit our Tools page to get hold of our selection of guides and OKR advice:


Our Journey with OKRs

If you want to hear how OKRs have changed our lives, have a look at the article below: