John Doerr on OKRs and Measuring What Matters

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The Strategic Agility Project

This series features the research of MIT Sloan School of Management’s Donald Sull and his team of researchers and data scientists, focusing on how companies can achieve their strategic objectives and build strong organizational cultures.
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Setting ambitious goals is crucial for strategy execution and innovation.

When it comes to achieving strategic objectives, the ability to execute has never been more important for organizations. Bridging the gap between strategy and execution is difficult, and often traditional goal-setting systems fall short of providing alignment and agility.

Pioneered at Intel in the 1970s, objectives and key results, or OKRs, is a management methodology that aligns team and individual goals with a company’s strategic plan.

As a leading investor and venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, John Doerr has introduced OKRs to some of the world’s most successful companies. In conversation with MIT’s Donald Sull, Doerr explains the key advantages of developing OKRs and why companies must turn their focus to setting the right objectives.

While Doerr emphasizes that OKRs are not a silver bullet — they can never substitute for a strong culture and stronger management — they can unlock new levels of results for companies that have solid foundations in place.

Some highlights from the discussion:

  • The five key advantages OKRs provide organizations: focus, alignment, commitment, tracking, and stretching
  • How conversation, feedback, and recognition (CFR) effectively complement OKRs and amplify employees’ impact
  • Why radical transparency and intrinsic motivation play into high performance

    Topics

    The Strategic Agility Project

    This series features the research of MIT Sloan School of Management’s Donald Sull and his team of researchers and data scientists, focusing on how companies can achieve their strategic objectives and build strong organizational cultures.
    See All Articles in This Section

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