IS Okr for Everyone?

Although you may be familiar with OKRs as a framework, have you found yourself asking the question, ‘Am I ready to take on OKRs’?

What do you need to know and practice in order to succeed?

Kenneth Lewis tells us that no matter the number of employees within your organization or the nature of your business, general readiness to use OKRs makes the cut. During his consulting journey, he has also come across several individuals who want to use them in order to gain personal success. This stands as an excellent example of the versatility of the OKR framework and how little it takes to learn and succeed while using it.

In this article, we take a look at the 4 crucial prerequisites to using OKRs.

1. Leadership Sponsorship

One of the foremost steps within any organization looking to use OKRs, is getting its leaders onboard with the idea. And after they do, two questions need to be asked.

1. Are leaders sponsoring this exercise as a goal management methodology?
2. Or are they looking at OKRs as just another performance management methodology?

Identifying why one’s team needs to use and subsequently benefit from OKRs adds clarity to using the framework. Ideally, this should be a leader’s first lookout when it comes to approaching OKRs.

Once this mindset gets formed, leaders begin to seriously look at goals in order to not just set them, but also achieve them.

2. Appetite for Risk

Jumping into the unknown, by definition, carries some understanding of the importance of risk-taking. When it comes to initiating OKRs, it is even more important to carry an appetite for risk. Several systems today exist to provide fast solutions. Plugging in to one and starting to work sounds effortless and tempting- but when such a mindset is associated with OKRs, one begins to highly overlook the idea of setting oneself up for quick failure. It is, quite frankly, important in order to learn and grow!
This is why most OKR coaches recommend that when you set up OKRs, set them up for a quarterly term. This ensures just the right pace for you to learn from your failures and build up better methods to avoid repetition.

Find out what works for you by identifying what doesn’t!

3. Belief in your people.

Unlike the traditional Balanced Scorecards or KPIs, OKRs are bi-directional. Instead of focusing on just one function’s efforts to delegate and bring processes to fruition, OKRs equally invite and encourage the contributions of individuals to the organization’s success. In order to start small, an employee may contribute to just cross-functional OKRs and Strategy OKRs. However, allowing this contribution to happen by establishing a belief in your people, is extremely important.

4. Rigor to Manage and Update progress.

Once you get the hang of OKRs, chasing the feeling of accomplishment is highly motivating. However, this is possible only through rigor.

So before choosing to implement OKRs, ask yourself this: Does your organization and its leaders possess the rigor to work on them again after identifying best practices?

Since OKR is a continuous process that often poses several fundamental challenges that push you to think out-of-the-box in order to achieve consistent results, you must learn and update your progress indefinitely in order to scale newer heights. Manage, and maintain!

To learn more about OKRs and solve your queries on how to get started with OKRs, click here.

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