You’re nearing the end of the quarter when your boss turns to you and says, “It feels like nobody’s on the same page in this department. I have it on good authority that if we don’t start hitting our targets, we’re all going to lose our jobs.”.
You could reinvent the wheel and try to create a goal-setting system from scratch. Or you could borrow the planning framework that Google is using right now.
OKR stands for “objective key result”. Many businesses have been using this approach to create goals and create organizational alignment and boost productivity.
Are there certain tips and tricks you can use to get the most effective OKR yet? Use these three tips to maximize your results.
1. Give Yourself a Challenge
Imagine waking up and suddenly being stronger than Superman. In those circumstances, winning strength competitions and competing in the Olympics wouldn’t just be a possibility — they’d be a foregone conclusion. When you’re putting togetheran OKR plan, you don’t want your team to feel like your company’s version of Superman.
If your team is coasting through every quarter, they’re not being challenged. And if they’re not being challenged, there’s more that they can accomplish.
Of course, your OKR plan shouldn’t be impossible to accomplish. All you need to do is keep people active, alert, and on their toes.
2. Be Specific
If you were to sit 100 marketing executives down and ask the question, “Would you like to generate more sales this quarter?” all of them would respond with the word, “Yes!”. But while any improvement is an improvement, context matters when you’re setting goals for your organization.
Imagine a marketing campaign that ended with your team paying $100 a lead on a $10 product. Your executive team would probably be disappointed with that outcome, right?
In addition, vague and general goals are difficult to build strategic plans around. Going from “Get more traffic to the site.” to “Improve annual sales by 30 percent.” makes it easier for your team to craft action plans that around goals that have been chosen specifically to achieve maximum results.
3. Set OKRs at Regular Intervals
In most organizations, your annual planning will differ substantially from your quarterly planning. Your OKRs need to undergo the same specification.
If your OKRs are an annual event, you’ll have a hard time answering questions like, “Are you meeting your company targets?”. And if the answer is “No.” and you can see that the team is struggling to meet its objectives, you may need to have some serious conversations about your expectations and your goal-setting practices. You might even need to consider bringing Strategic Planning Consultants on board.
The best way to spot and recognize problems is to create a regular timetable for reviewing the work that’s been done on your OKRs.
Could OKR Planning Be the Secret Ingredient You’ve Been Looking For?
Running a growing business isn’t easy. You’ve got staff to manage, customers to satisfy, and more vulnerabilities that could lead to shipping delays and problems.
OKR planning can help you ensure that everyone in your company is pulling in the same direction. If you set common goals that are challenging, specific, and consistent, you’ll be surprised at what your business will be able to accomplish.
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