Objectives & Key results

Evolution of management and execution continues

Story category: Organization

Story tags: strategy, goal setting, KPI, management, results, control

OKR’s or Objectives and Key Results have powered amazing results at organizations all over the world, and we are always interested to learn from success, failure, and to integrate lessons we learn from others into our unique way of managing our organization.


What is what?


Objectives = What we want to achieve.


Key results = How we are going to achieve it.


In this system good ideas are coupled with great execution; we love both things. We have been very active, in the last few years, in honing the skill of formulating what we want to achieve. Plans are nothing without execution. Plans without execution are dreams and will often stay dreams; it’s the execution coupled with discipline that moves the needle.


Let’s look at setting objectives; start by setting idealistic goals instead of realistic goals. The first step is to set an audacious goal. Setting low goals will yield little results at best, setting audacious goals will lead to audacious results at best and failing above the norm at worst! We don’t set goals because they are easy, but because hard goals with give us the ability to access and focus a massive reserve of energy and motivation.


Don’t be afraid of failure, be afraid of low energy goals and succeeding. Don’t be good but get better as the inventor of Intent-based Leader, David Marquete, would say.


Let’s look at Key results; earth bound, and metric driven. Here we look at which drivers are driving our audacious goals. Revenue, growth, customers, turnover per customer, process metrics, etc.


An example:


Win the F1 Championship 2024


Key results
Increase lap speed by 15%
Reduce pitstop time 1.5 seconds.
Reduce pitstop errors by 40%
Train pitstop turnaround time 4 hours per day for the next 6 weeks


Quality and quantity key results together create a great platform for practical execution which moves the needle! There is a direct connection between the key results (quality and quantity) and the objectives.


Compelling score board 

The 4 Disciplines of Action requires us to keep a compelling score board. That score board is formed by the measures of the key results. But now the neat thing about OKR’s; color coding.


Colors are used to show how we are doing. It works as follows:


Green; 70% to 100% on target! Yes, let’s keep doing what we are doing!!


Orange; 30% to 70% on target!? Let’s make sure we get back on track; recovery mode!!


Red; 0% to 30% on target :( Recover or replace; find out issues and look how to do things differently to succeed!!


Exited to start implementing the basics, and from there move forward. Ownership, discipline, and creating the best fit with our existing management system and culture are the first steps in this new and exciting journey.

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