Above: Johannes Mueller (Workpath) moderating a panel discussion about ‘Companies & OKR Use Cases’, involving Ian Harvey (Elsevier), Cynthia Hohlstein (Auxmoney), Zwetomir Karagaschki (Metronom) and Elie Casamitjana (Ingenico). 3 october 2019. Photo by Computer Futures.
13) Make it visual: I really enjoyed the breakout session from Per Lundquist, “Using visualisation to boost OKR results.” In it, he emphasised on the importance of visual thinking to imagine the desirable future as not everyone can write well, and there is a huge part of the brain that we miss out on if we don’t work with images. It can be quite revelatory to think visually with different techniques, like the “What if?” question, the miracle exercise, the revolving door, or thinking in movies.
14) Top down and bottom up: The leadership team should be OKR role models. If there is no buy in from the top, they will most likely fail. People do what their bosses do. Still if things are imposed top down and context is not created to work bottom up, they will also fail. That’s why it’s crucial that tactical team OKRs are pitched bottom-up. It’s a conversation.
15) Find ambassadors: You need a dedicated group of people to keep the flame and momentum going while helping everyone align and level up. Middle managers are a key bridges to get right in any roll out.
16) Say NO: More and more, it becomes evident that OKRs are not about what you say YES to, but actually about how you use them to remind you say NO to. It’s extremely difficult to reach such a level of simplicity and focus, and one can only do so by discarding things you don’t prioritise.
17) Create shared OKRs: The hidden gem in this framework. In the end, you want to align teams to work together, so fostering shared OKRs to avoid a siloed organisation is the way forward.
18) Don’t rush: Take your time to figure what really matters. Not everything that matters can be measured and not everything that is measurable matters. So rather than jumping quickly to conclusions on what you need to achieve next year or quarter, delay decision making, think thoroughly and take your time to figure what matters.