OKR is an acronym that stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a very effective goal setting and management framework that helps individuals and teams implement strategic execution and accomplish some pretty amazing things.
OKR is a tremendously powerful tool, especially in times of uncertainty, when stern direction (with flexible approaches) are needed. Andy Grove, born Andras Istvan Grof in Hungary 1936, survived the Holocaust by taking on a false identity and reaching America with little English and no money.
He eventually joined a fledgling company called Intel and transformed it using a method he created known as OKR.
Grove and his method took Intel from a precarious position to putting personal computers in 84% of American households by 2017, increasing revenues from $1.9 billion to $26 billion.
OKR’s primary tenet was that execution is more important than mere ideas. Grove, who fought his way through Communist Hungary to then become Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year,” was living proof of this – really a “walking OKR.”
The simple version of OKR consists of an Objective, which defines a goal to be achieved, and up to 5 Key Results (3 is best), which measure progress towards the Objective.
What is in an Objective?
It is a description of a goal to be achieved in the future. It sets a clear direction, provides motivation and can be though of like a destination on a map.
The key question to generate an effective objective is “Where do I want to go?”
What is a Key Result?
It is a metric with a starting value and target value that measures progress towards on Objective. It is like a signpost with a distance that shows how close you are to your Objective.
The key question for this one is “How do I know if I’m getting there?”
Here is an example of a past OKR from one of our greatest minds, Elon Musk:
Objective: Make humankind interplanetary.
Key Result #1: Reduce the cost of launching a rocket by 10x.
Key Result #2: Re-use all rockets at least 5x.
Key Results #3: Win $10 billion in commercial launch contracts.
Keeping it simple and tight is key here. Complexity is the enemy of execution.
How would you use this method to boost your sales game’s execution?