The Cost of Not Having an Internal OKR Coach

by Alessia Ghiandoni | Jun 27, 2022

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“We’ve tried implementing OKRs within our organisation for a few months, but sadly for one reason or another, we failed”.

“It was too demanding to keep up with all of the meetings, we just didn’t have time, and as a result, we gave up”. 

“But I’ve read many books on OKRs, and I was sure we could have done it ourselves.”

Sound familiar? 

We understand that the general consensus of these comments is something we often hear, especially from people who come to us for support with their OKR goals.

OKRs are the perfect tool for setting objectives and making entire organisations more efficient. Still, many leaders start with the idea that sourcing information online or buying a licence for an OKR software (or worse, using excel sheets) is enough to establish, set and run effective OKRs… We hate to break it to you, but it just doesn’t work that way.

Implementing OKRs within your company is perhaps one of the best investments you can ever make, especially if you want to innovate, grow, and create consistent strategic alignment amongst your organisation. 

When done correctly, OKRs can be a real lifeline, but it’s crucial that the moment you decide to take this step, you know what you’re doing from the outset. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of many things going wrong. These mistakes can also lead to a waste of resources, and your teams could quickly lose interest in this powerful goal-setting framework. 

We noticed some similarities with our clients when it came to what prompted them to start using OKRs in the first place. These include:

  • Lack of alignment 
  • No motivation 
  • Teams working in silos
  • Lack of accountability

Unfortunately, if you start using OKRs without a guide or an OKR champion in your organisation, you have fewer chances to overcome the problems listed above. 

An internal OKR champion is key to OKR success

If you want to avoid costly errors and become a business that thrives as a result of impactful OKRs, this can be significantly enhanced by the help of expert OKR Coaches.

An OKR coach can guide you through this process and provide motivation and encouragement to help OKRs prosper. They allow you to find an option that suits your team’s needs, but remember, the OKR champion’s goal is to make the OKR process more accessible, not to decide on the objectives. 

First of all, OKR coaches have essential characteristics. For the most part, they have soft skills that will facilitate the management of the teams and the correct management of OKRs. To name a few, OKR coaches are usually:

  • Highly organised
  • OKR passionate
  • Fantastic coaches and mentors
  • Motivated and confident

You may be wondering, where is the OKR Coach going to make a difference?

There are many tasks that an OKR coach has to manage from the moment the organisation adopts OKRs.

Drive adoption

It’s not easy to introduce a new working framework in an organisation, and it’s way more complicated if people don’t know what they need to do to get started. An OKR coach teaches those involved how to set objectives, how to write KRs and so fourth. 

Manage the process

OKR champions work like the hands of a puppeteer. They manage the calendar and discuss how and when check-ins should occur, for instance. Of course, the last decision is down to the teams – the OKR champion is only there to facilitate. They are more empowering than directive. 

Support and feedback

As the organisation works with OKRs, there are transitions and retros to be made. An OKR coach is there to answer any doubts that arise throughout the various cycles and is a source of support if teams are uncomfortable or lost.

So, albeit brief, we highlighted the cost of not having an internal OKR coach and the benefits of having one. Of course, it is up to the company to decide how many OKR champions to have. Despite this, you may want to have more than one, depending on the size of your company. 

Also, based on our study through our Coach Academy, we noticed that having more than one coach benefits the effectiveness and durability of OKRs.

Remember that there are courses available for those who desire to develop the abilities and mindset of an authentic OKR coach. Enrolling in OKR training can assist you in getting the most value out of your OKRs for years to come. 

The There Be Giants OKR Coach Academy

At There Be Giants, we have a highly successful and effective OKR Coach course, providing the tools to help you extract the maximum value from your OKRs.

Our robust OKR training will provide your internal OKR champions with the necessary understanding of OKR methodology, delivering fully qualified and certified OKR coaches to your organisation (recognised by the CMI).

Learn more about our OKR Coach Training, or speak to our team to find out more.