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What are OKRs? A Guide to Implementing Them in Your Business

understanding okrs

The inspo behind this article came from a recent edition of Twenty2 Cafe, where the buzz and engagement around Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) were undeniable. But at the same time, there's a lot of confusion out there with how they are used and applied.

For those who don't know about it, Twenty2 Cafe is our regular online forum where we connect to problem solve in a lean coffee-type way. You can re-watch the edition via the link below to our Youtube channel (OKRs comes up at the 1:21 mark if you want to fast-forward to the meat of the sandwich). It's clear that OKRs are more than a corporate buzzword—they're a transformative tool for setting and achieving ambitious goals. Here, I'll share five key tips for introducing OKRs into your business, drawing on the hands-on expertise we offer at Twenty2 Collective.

Understanding the OKR Framework

Before we dive into the tips, let's get to the bottom of what OKRs are. OKRs stand for Objectives and Key Results, a goal-setting framework that helps businesses define and track objectives and their outcomes. Unlike KPIs, which monitor ongoing performance, OKRs are about setting a direction and driving strategic leaps forward. OKR are about setting ambitious goals and defining measurable outcomes to achieve those goals. They are dynamic, often set quarterly, and aim to drive forward momentum and growth.

The Distinction Between Key Results and OKRs

Key results are the measurable outcomes that, when achieved, signify the successful completion of an objective. They are not tasks but are quantifiable steps towards strategic goals. While objectives are qualitative and inspirational, key results should be quantitative and factual.

Crafting Your OKRs Correctly

Writing OKRs is a strategic exercise. Objectives should be bold and ambitious, pushing your team to stretch beyond their comfort zones. Repeat: They should stretch beyond their comfort zones. Key results should be concrete, measurable, and tied to a timeline. They should challenge your team but also be achievable with effort.

Examples of Great OKRs

Great OKRs are transparent and align the entire organization towards common goals. They prioritise impactful work and foster a culture of accountability and continuous learning. They're about setting a vision for the future and then methodically tracking progress towards that vision.

Learning from Google and LinkedIn's OKR Journeys

Google's adoption of OKRs has been central to its evolution from a small startup to a tech titan. Their culture of transparency and ambitious goal-setting, where even low scores are seen as opportunities for growth, exemplifies the power of OKRs.

LinkedIn's OKR journey under Jeff Wiener's leadership showcases how setting three to five ambitious objectives per quarter can drive significant business success, with regular team check-ins keeping everyone aligned and moving forward.

Partner with Twenty2 Collective

Do you need support for OKRs in your business? Twenty2 Collective is your partner in OKR Implementation, Measurement and Assurance​, OKR Training​, and OKR Coaching​. Our expertise can help you set, track, and achieve your most ambitious goals.

To start your OKR journey with us, book a session and let's create a roadmap for your success. References:

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