Do’s and Don’ts working with OKR’s

OKR stands for Objectives Key Results and is a tool set to streamline an organization towards the most important goals for a given time period (e.g. a quarter). Google Venture’s OKR-expert Ken Norton talks about some of his observations on organizations implementing OKR’s in this interview “Are you doing OKR’s right?”.

Ken Norton gained his expertise working with 300+ companies from the GV’s portfolio. OKR’s are one great tool to align an organization to work toward the most important goal at the time. Here’s a bullet list of my key learnings:

  • Communicate OKR’s clearly
  • OKR’s are the CEO’s tool to set the direction for the organization
  • Very, very few in numbers
  • OKR’s are measurable – you know when you’re there
  • OKR’s keep the organization ambitious
  • An organization of less than 100 people doesn’t need more than the organization’s OKR’s
  • OKR’s do only work if the culture of the company allows for them
  • They’re most effective if a combination of top-down and bottom-up
  • OKR setting surfaces organizational problems – deal with them