How can you successfully deliver change in your organisation?

by Tim Calderhead | Aug 30, 2022

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There are a lot of tools and methods for planning and delivering change. If you’re delivering OKRs into your business, you’ll need a good change management plan. 

Following on from our August video series, this blog post will apply the ‘4 Corners of Influence’ by McKinsey to OKR delivery. This model is useful because it’s easy to articulate and straightforward to understand.

The order to these 4 points is important. If you follow them in order, they build upon each other and you’re left with a high level project plan.

Understanding & conviction

This is the ‘Why’ you’re delivering OKRs into your business. If you don’t have this already, it’s worth spending time nailing this down with your project group.

Here are some tips for finalising your ‘Why:

  1. It should be no more than a single sentence. You’re going to have to say it a lot, so avoid unnecessary words
  2. It should motivate and inspire. Your ‘Why’ is your rallying call, so it should encourage action
  3. It should align with your company vision and purpose. If you sell groceries and your OKRs focus on teddy bears, you’ll lack the focus required to deliver your Big Moves

Don’t forget to test your ‘Why’. Share it with others in your business in meetings, or a focus group to get feedback on how it makes people feel. Especially with those who haven’t worked on the OKR project.

Formal mechanisms

This is making sure that your processes and procedures align to support OKRs. Clear instructions and accessible tools will remove entry barriers and encourage involvement.

This can cover a wide variety of areas, including (but not limited to):

  • Having OKR software that you’ve tested and made easily available. Transparency is key to OKRs – it allows you to break out of silos
  • Regular check-ins and reviews to make it easy for participants to contribute. Especially if these concepts are new to your business
  • Updating any HR systems or policies (especially reward and recognition) to reflect OKRs. This will ensure you acknowledge and reward hard work

Your goal is to enable the OKR journey to be as smooth as possible. You don’t want your project to fail because people didn’t know how to get involved.

Develop talent &  skills

This is training. You need to make sure that OKR training and support is available to anyone in your organisation. 

This can be as straightforward as a written document, or as advanced as a classroom session. Regardless, providing tools (and making them easy to access!) will help your teams to do what’s being asked of them. 

There’s a distinction between ‘Cultural’ and ‘Academic’ training. The ‘Academic’ training is the technical information about OKRs – what they do, how they work etc. 

The ‘Cultural’ training is about how people behave when it comes to OKRs, and this is as important when considering your training. You need a vision for how you want people to behave in the ‘new world’ with OKRs, and writing it down is the best way to start that. 

You could link this with role modelling. Record a ‘Gold Standard’ OKR review session, then provide it as part of your training. This will show people what’s expected of them.

Role modelling

Finally, role modelling. Role modelling isn’t your senior leadership team talking OKRs up in an all hands meeting. It’s people at all levels of the organisation acting in a specific way to reinforce a desired behaviour. 

For example, if I’m in an unfamiliar environment, I look to ‘locals’ (shorthand for ‘well versed in local culture’). They provide guidance on how to behave, and I try to follow suit. 

We do the same at work. When we join somewhere new, we follow the example of those around us. Especially those who are influential. 

This is how you can help deliver OKRs. For example, OKRs are dependent on good habits and commitment. Work with influential people in your organisation to role model these required behaviours.  

Have them make public commitments. You could make some OKR check-ins available for everybody to view to demonstrate the how of what you’re asking others to do. 

How can we help?

OKRs are a transformative way to do something new, make a change, or see a step change improvement; but asking people to do something new is difficult. 

Good change delivery is a vital part of a successful OKR project. It helps teams easily transition through something new, and provides them with the resources to flourish. If you’re in need of some support when it comes to implementing OKRs into your business, speak to our team to find out more.