Change: Embracing it with OKRs

by Roger Longden | Apr 16, 2019

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It’s that time of year again. The start of the new financial year (for many of you). Time to settle down and bed-in for the year ahead. Have you looked at what changes you’ll be making in your business in the next twelve months?

Making a Case for Another Acronym

As far as acronyms go, you can’t spend more than about ten minutes in a modern workplace without being hit by at least a few. The three letter acronym is loved and hated in equal measure and over-use is a common cause of frustration.

At the risk of introducing yet another TLA to what we’re sure is already a very burgeoning vocabulary, stick with us as we make the case for OKRs.

Introducing OKRs

On the face of it, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)are an alternative method for structuring a goal. The objective is what you want to achieve, and the key result is the measure of the outcome so you’ll know you’ve achieved it.

Not that revolutionary, right?

Where we fundamentally believe that OKRs are different, and can benefit any business or organisation serious about growth and change, is in the ethos and structure that underpins them.

OKRs were born in the land of early-adopters and radical thinkers.

They suit businesses who do things a little differently and challenge the norm.

OKRs bring the priorities of the business right into their core, but in a way which is engaging, collaborative and challenging.

Understanding the Ethos

Think about the way that performance has been managed in most businesses for years. The majority use an appraisal which is structured around annual objectives which are discussed between manager and team member.

OKRs do it differently.

  • There is a direct alignment between the OKRs of the business, the team and the individual, which allows a sense of impact to follow down and real-time reporting to flow up
  • OKRs work within a cycle which keeps focus and allows for agility if priorities need to shift
  • Individual OKRs are discussed openly at team level, which builds transparency, collaboration and accountability

OKRs work best when their focus is on driving growth and change, not repeating what’s been done before.