Strategic planning is on my mind. Maybe because our leadership team just completed our quarterly plan updates, which led me to reflect on the powerful manner in which our organization has been transformed by adopting a process called Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
Because so many of you are likely revising your 2020 plans, and even planning for 2021; now seems a great time to share our experience with this framework that has reshaped our businesses over the past 2 years. It’s a deceptively simple method used by some of the most successful companies on the planet to grow from their garage beginnings. Companies like Google, Amazon and Netscape.
We adopted OKRs 2 years ago when our CEO heard Venture Capitalist and author John Doerr speak about their power at a talk for his book, “Measure What Matters”.
What OKRs different is that they stress the importance of not just planning, but setting the right goals. Audacious goals. Aligned goals. Transparent goals.
Let me be clear – OKRs are not KPIs. They are impactful interconnected initiatives that every employee creates and owns. OKRs are public: from the top down; and all must align with the Company Objectives. They are presented, posted and updated quarterly. They are not used for performance reviews or bonuses.
OKRs are not our day to day responsibilities, but the projects that lead us to where we need to be next. Some will drive spectacular success. Some will die an early death. But each of them should be a challenge. Many use OKRs for personal goals too.
The OKR framework has transformed our businesses. Our FLxTalk+ service started as an OKR. So did the expansion of our Brush Mountain Data Center. It is a culture shift that takes time to successfully roll out through an organization, but OKRs have a long track record of success when adopted.
So as you plan for 2021; you might want to check out John’s TEDTalk on YouTube. It’s a short, powerful presentation of the power of OKRs to help organizations navigate challenges, innovate and thrive.
If you’d like to know more about our experience implementing OKRs; or if you’d like to discuss options to adjust IT investments for your shifts in strategy, contact me and I’ll make sure you connect with the right person on our team to help.
In the meantime, here’s to looking ahead and rising to new challenges.
Vice President, Marketing & Strategy