Prior to being an OKR consultant, I spent 15 years helping CEOs and leaders transform their organizations. 80% of consulting assignments centered around the following problem/opportunity statements:
- I need members to be more accountable
- I want people to be more results oriented
- We require teams to be more collaborative
- We expect employees to be more engaged and motivated
- I need leaders to create leaders
- I don’t think we are functioning at our true potential
- We need to challenge status quo
- I need members to be more aligned
- I want employees to be more empowered
- We need to be fearless
- We need to learn to let go of the old to embrace the new….and then some more!
These needs would lead to custom solutions. And these solutions would lead to short-term or immeasurable impact. These included: running strategy workshops (using balanced scorecard), implementing culture change initiatives, facilitating bespoke leadership programs, coaching leaders, conducting LSIPs, outbounds, Process labs and/or process or system changes. I had a lot of fun doing this work and so did my clients. We came back with wonderful memories and amazing breakthroughs.
It’s been 5 years since I started helping organizations with OKRs. (For the uninitiated: OKRs stand for Objectives and Key Results. It’s a goal setting framework that enables organizations to set, track, pivot and achieve audacious goals. It’s what Google, LinkedIn, Spotify claim as a success enabler).
And I must admit, the kind joy that I get in OKR consulting, and the impact of the framework is much more gratifying than a photo-op at the end of a session. It’s not just about just designing and running workshops; it’s now about helping leaders and teams recognize the power of their goals. I help them set strategic goals, and then get them habituated to set, track, pivot, and achieve those goals. Its this immersive experience that makes me feel richer, belonged and more value-adding than ever.
Don’t get me wrong, I still run workshops. However, as I design and run these programs, I’m now more in tune with what the client’s business needs. There’s a deeper understanding. The program has context. I have purpose. And there’s a measurable impact.
And while working with CEOs and Founders, the conversations are deeper. They’re not about just doing the next thing. It’s about challenging their strategies, their intent, their assumptions and then helping them curate their organization’s transformation journey.
I wish that more consultants get to experience this transformative field of expertise.
Kenneth Paul Lewis is globally recognized OKR Coach and Leadership Development Consultant. He is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of OKR International which is a global authority on OKRs and Strategic Management. He is also an investor and co-founder of 3 start-up companies. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org