How to Rock the World with OKRs


Everyone makes mistakes, regardless of their experience or status.  I found it interesting to read an article in which Bill Gates admits to a gaffe he made during the early days of Microsoft.  Although his coding skills were excellent, he hadn’t mastered project management and one of his projects was delivered two weeks late!  

how to rock the world with okrs

It was a tough lesson to learn.  Gates credits Intel CEO Andy Grove with showing him the ropes on how to be more effective, and he specifically cites his management style called OKRs (objectives and key results).  This is still used by successful companies today and is the foundation of John Doerr’s latest book, Measure What Mattersa tome that Gates suggests you read as soon as possible.  

You can be very smart and highly skilled; however, if you can’t manage your projects, you’ll be dead in the water!  With someone as accomplished as Gates backing it and someone as knowledgeable as Doerr writing it, I suggest you add Measure What Matters to your reading list. 

Here is the summary from Amazon

“Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive. 

“In the fall of 1999, John Doerr met with the founders of a start-up whom he'd just given $12.5 million, the biggest investment of his career. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had amazing technology, entrepreneurial energy, and sky-high ambitions, but no real business plan. For Google to change the world (or even to survive), Page and Brin had to learn how to make tough choices on priorities while keeping their team on track. They'd have to know when to pull the plug on losing propositions, to fail fast. And they needed timely, relevant data to track their progress—to measure what mattered.

“Doerr taught them about a proven approach to operating excellence: Objectives and Key Results. He had first discovered OKRs in the 1970s as an engineer at Intel, where the legendary Andy Grove ("the greatest manager of his or any era") drove the best-run company Doerr had ever seen. Later, as a venture capitalist, Doerr shared Grove's brainchild with more than fifty companies. Wherever the process was faithfully practiced, it worked.

“In this goal-setting system, objectives define what we seek to achieve; key results are how those top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. Everyone's goals, from entry-level to CEO, are transparent to the entire organization.”

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Posted by Mark Jewell

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