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Synopsis

Goals that are unrealistic, vague and not well-communicated are predestined for failure. To set ambitious but achievable and measurable goals, you need clear Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) – an effective framework used by Google, Intuit and the Gates Foundation. With our Objectives & Key Results presentation, you too can establish and track goals to achieve outcome-based success like the world business leaders.

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Slide highlights

Use this slide to go over the advantages of OKRs. Some of them include clear focus, alignment (highly-aligned employees are twice as likely to be top performers), tracking from output to outcome and empowerment to strive further.

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This slide will allow you to communicate and track OKR progress by the department, which will provide your internal teams with a vision for everyone to align to achieve success, as well as accountability and sense of purpose.

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Benefit

Venture capitalist John Doerr, who has helped fund Intuit, Amazon, Google and Twitter, and wrote the book about OKRs, called Measure What Matters, says the following about the framework in his interview for Harvard Business Review: "One of the powerful things about the OKR system is that at any level of an organization you're only going to have two or three, or maybe four or five, objectives. And three or so key results. So it requires a kind of rigor and discipline to say, these are the most important things that are going on in an organization. It's not the sum total of tasks. It's not the work order for the enterprise. It's whatever we as a team agree deserves special attention, and it really matters. At Intel, Andy Grove had us post our personal OKRs outside our carrels, so everyone could see them."

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Expert advice

Falon Fatemi was the youngest person Google ever hired when she got a job at age 19, according to Business Insider. She stayed with the company for 11 years and left to launch her own tech startup. "[...] As I worked with early-stage companies and eventually started my own business, I realized the importance of a tool from Google: OKRs," Fatemi writes in her article for Forbes.

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To help managers make the most out of the framework, Fatemi lists these three common mistakes to avoid when working on OKRs:

  1. Setting unreasonable expectations -- OKRs provide challenging objectives that link clearly to company goals. But if they are unrealistic, they don't appear as credible to the staff and can discourage them. "At Google, employees set four to six quarterly OKRs; more than that is too many to manage. At the quarter's end, each employee grades his performance on a 0 to 1.0 scale. If someone hits 1.0 on every OKR, his objectives aren't ambitious enough. On the flip side, low scores shouldn't be punished but rather be used to refine the next quarter's OKRs," Fatemi shares.
  2. Shortchanging celebrations -- OKRs make a great management tool, and when you celebrate milestones and achievements throughout the process, you get a chance to recognize your team's accomplishments. Fatemi says: "If OKRs sound simple, that's because they are. But that's the beauty of them. They help companies – from Google-sized giants to tiny startups – break down big goals into bite-sized, tough-but-doable tasks. OKRs help you become the company you want to be, one quarter at a time."
  3. Setting unreasonable expectations -- OKRs provide challenging objectives that link clearly to company goals. But if they are unrealistic, they don't appear as credible to the staff and can discourage them. "At Google, employees set four to six quarterly OKRs; more than that is too many to manage. At the quarter's end, each employee grades his performance on a 0 to 1.0 scale. If someone hits 1.0 on every OKR, his objectives aren't ambitious enough. On the flip side, low scores shouldn't be punished but rather be used to refine the next quarter's OKRs," Fatemi shares.
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Case study

Uber

Uber is among the many companies that successfully employ OKR framework in their processes and management. In fact, 71% of Uber employees think their department Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and OKRs are clear. They understand Uber's KPIs and OKRs are essential for its success, and out of 47 surveyed Uber employees, 39 agree that the company's goals are clear and that the staff is invested in them, according to the study by Comparably.

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When it comes to managers' role in goal setting and achievement, a manager at Uber is responsible for ensuring the employees accomplish objectives using KPIs. Uber employees shared they generally receive helpful feedback weekly or monthly. 71% of Uber employees said they were given recognition for their impact and accomplishments. They also said that feedback and positive reinforcement are conducive to meeting goals, Comparably reports.

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