top 5 don’ts on OKRs

OKRs are brilliant, but - top 5, learnt from the best

OKRs don’t #1

Don’t start with OKRs.

Start with the strategy tree and your leadership team.

NB – after reading this article, watch this short video to learn about the leadership cycle and strategy tree.

OKRs don’t #2

Don’t stop evolving your strategy whilst executing monthly or quarterly OKRs.

Strategy formation and evolution should never stop. Your strategy tree should be:

  • live and interactive
  • accessible to everyone
  • cascading to execution
  • guided by your vision, why and direction

OKRs don’t #3

Don’t say to employees: “We are rolling out OKRs

OKRs are one piece of a bigger picture.

OKRs are brilliant for strategy execution, however there is increasing confusion and misinformation on OKRs – especially from folks who only scratch the service when trying to learn something new.

We recommend communicating with the bigger picture:
our leadership team have recently been working together in one digital workspace for ideation + planning + strategy + execution, and now we want to progressively open that up to the whole company, so we can evolve these together with you

OKRs don’t #4

Don’t confuse OKRs with KPIs.

OKRs: working on the business – best limited to a few key objectives per leader per quarter.

KPIs: what you measure, so you know what to work on – most organizations will have hundreds of indicators worth tracking.

When you see KPIs going off track, or when you think of new ideas for strategy or capabilities, that’s when you introduce OKRs – to get it done!

OKRs don’t #5

Don’t rollout a single-use-app for OKRs.

3 reasons to avoid single-use-apps for OKRs:

1 – for many employees, it will feel like just another tracking or accountability tool. As brilliant as OKRs are, if employees feel that, execution will fade over time.

2go for next gen tech that allows you to: a) create the strategy tree to a 12 to 36 month horizon; b) add OKRs to any level of the strategy tree; c) evolve and execute off the strategy tree* whilst at the same time executing OKRs (i.e. per “OKR don’t #2” above, strategy evolution and execution never stops); d) tie together execution of strategy + OKRs + daily work, into one digital workspace (thereby achieving Ray Dalio’s radical transparency) so that leaders can efficiently engage/contribute/support/coach at all levels on execution, in real time, rather than looking at dashboards and trying to figure out what’s really happening

* by execute, I mean everything you need to execute, hanging straight off your strategy tree in the same digital workspace: social with structure (e.g. approvals, decisions, requests); social powered by org design; tasks; project workboards; risks; ideas; challenges to crowdsource new ideas; live meeting notes; and a live org chart showing who is working on what right now

3 – if you solve 2) you will create unlimited opportunities for leaders to lead, and the transparency will radically elevate org-wide performance and culture. Think about this. No matter how good your leaders are, or how good their work ethic and intentions are, leadership is critically diluted if bouncing across different apps and integrations to support their teams on what ends up being fragmented views of strategy and execution.

NB – #stratapp is the world’s first (and thus far only) B2B SaaS app that achieves both 2) and 3) above. Leaders have the opportunity to lead. Employee rising stars have the opportunity to shine, and to receive appreciation, unconstrained by org hierarchy and political silos (you might like this thinking on corporate hierarchy from Elon Musk).

By the time we are copied by others, #stratapp will already be onto building phase 2 of our 5 phase roadmap.

Please join the #stratapp global tribe on rethinking how best to use tech to lead a company.

reading

You might also enjoy 7 steps to successfully implement OKRs and 5 reasons why #stratapp is the best strategy execution software app in the world right now.

Not to mention these inspiring books and articles by thought leaders like Richard Rumelt, Simon Sinek, Ray Dalio, Prof Roger Martin, John Doerr and Ricardo Semler.

thank you

If you like this article on the top 5 don’ts on OKRs, please share it amigos.

Thank you!

Ash Richardson
Author:
co-founder

20 years digital tech and strategy experience, including co-founding #team, Accenture, MP of Oyster Partners (now DigitasLBi) and ex-VC investing in technology startups. Unique skills on product strategy, design and offshoring.

connects to

culture elevation

  • radical transparency and trust
  • real-time alignment and collaboration

next gen ready

  • by 2025 more than 75% of employees are y-gen / millennials
  • asking y-gen to collaborate via email and static docs, is like asking all of us to go back to using fax machines

employee productivity

  • 15-30% increase in productivity
  • provide every employee the tools to succeed
  • attract and retain the best talent, for the right reasons

business performance

  • 15-30% increase in business valuation
  • de-risk and make the business agile
  • execute strategy and daily work above expectations

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