Jun 13, 2023
Fun fact: While I am an OKR activist, I'm not an OKR dogmatist.
If OKRs "aren't working" in your organization, I'll be the first to support your decision to change course to an approach that works better for your organization.
Frequently, though, I see organizations reach a stage where they're frustrated with their OKR implementation -- and the time of year I see the "OKRs aren't working" phase kick in is at mid-year, when we're looking at our annual company strategic plans or OKRs that may have been set six or seven months ago and questioning: "What's the value of OKRs, if they've become this off course?"
I'm having these conversations with a number of clients right now, so if you're a client and you think this episode is about you, what you're experiencing may be part of what inspired this episode, but this episode is not about you -- it's about a lot of you. 😂
Many teams reach this stage and then overfocus on what's not working in our OKR operations: with tracking, reporting, and our OKR software or systems. What's most valuable when your organization reaches this stage is to take advantage of having six months worth of data for us to assess our progress thanks to our Objectives and Key Results, AND, examine and apply our half-year of learnings during our mid-year reset, to improve our Objectives and Key Results, our OKR behaviors, AND our OKR operations instead of abandoning them.
If the job we've hired OKRs to do is to increase our clarity and objectivity about what shared progress and success mean -- which is the highest and best use of OKRs -- then when organizations reach the "OKRs aren't working" phase, we have a chance to take a good hard look at our OKRs themselves, and, our behaviors. One of the most common issues I see in this phase is that teams are not yet letting OKRs do that job they were hired to do: they may still be stuck in task & activity quicksand, and have not yet taken the step into aligning on actual objective measures of progress and success. If that's the case, it's not that your OKRs aren't working: it's that you're not yet using OKRs!
This episode is timely: many of us are navigating our mid-year resets and struggling with frustration; here, I share a few areas of focus you can consider to infuse your OKR reset with new energy and optimism, to help you refresh your Objectives and Key Results to help your organization finish the year strong!
Does this spark questions or thoughts? I'd love to hear from you. Contact me via http://thinkydoers.com !