What are OKRs and why are they important to your business

When it comes to achieving business success, one of the most important things truly is setting the right goals and deciding what you and your colleagues can do to achieve them in the right way.

The truth is that in this day and age, one of the major challenges that any business faces is actually managing to identify the right goals now and in the future. In fact, poorly done goals are not only a waste of time and energy, but a waste of hard-earned money as well.

As you probably know, setting and aiming to complete the wrong goals can set off a chain reaction that leads to ultimate business failure. However, if you spend your business’ profit to achieve the right goals, you will only watch that profit grow and grow as you continue to enjoy increased success.

One the very best ways to set and achieve the right goals is by depending on something that is known as an OKR. 

But what are OKRs and how do they help businesses of all kinds achieve lasting success? Let’s break all that down together.

What are OKRs?

OKRs was developed originally by Intel and later used heavily by John Doerr when he became one of the earlier investors in Google. While ORKs might seem complex, it is actually rooted in simplicity, which is what makes it so successful. 

OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. In other words, OKRs allow business owners and his or her employees to establish the ultimate goals that they want to achieve, while also figuring out exactly how they will go about achieving them. 

The objectives are big-thinker aspects of your business. Things that you are going to accomplish at a later date. 

The key results are much more specific, time-related, and are limited in number. Perhaps most importantly, they come with specific milestones which can be measured and verified. The whole point of utilizing an OKR to achieve business success through measurable milestones which, if achieved, will directly advance the objective.

On top of that, OKRs can help organizations with solid fundamentals that also can help to focus their efforts on the same issues, challenges, and opportunities from the very top of the organization to the very bottom. 

When the strategy of the company is identified plainly, it helps everyone within the organization do what must be done to adhere to that strategy.

Why are they so important to businesses?

To put it simply, OKRs help offer business a clear sense of focus on the ultimate goal. When they are implemented correctly, OKRs allow a company to tell everyone working within it what they should be focusing on this week, quarter or year and why that is so important to the overall success of the business.

How can OKRs be set and rolled out?

When it comes to actually utilizing OKRs to help take your business to the next level, there is going to be a period when you are simply doing what you can to get it actually implemented into your company. 

Truthfully, there can be some growing pains here, as is the case whenever someone is trying to implement something new into their company. With that being said, there are definitely some things that you can do that will help with the roll out of the OKR.

The first thing that you will want to do is present the framework of the OKRs very clearly. On top of that, you are going to want to express and explain that the OKRs implemented will not only benefit the company as a whole but will also benefit everyone working within it as it will help everyone meet the unique needs, demands, and challenges that you and your colleagues face on a daily basis.

Beyond that, it never hurts to look up some of the top success stories that have used OKRs in the past. Trust us, that will be very easy to do, and learning about those successes will likely only get you more excited to start utilizing OKRs in your own business.

The next thing that you will want to do is develop no more than between five and seven objectives with three to five key results. With that being said, if you are simply trying to achieve one specific objective, that is also fine too! Remember, one of the most important things about OKRs is that prioritization and simplicity are key aspects.

While it may seem like a rigorous process to actually identify the best goals to try to achieve, that process is far, far easier than trying to commit to accomplishing the wrong goal, only to realize that it was the wrong goal after you have already accomplished it. 

Up next, you are going to want to figure out how the OKRs that you have decided upon are going to be cascaded throughout your entire team. Because there are so many different approaches to goal management, it is really important that you do what must be done to plan ahead and think as critically and objectively as possible about your implementation plan. 

Beyond that, remember to always consider the structure, demands and challenges that are specific to your organization as you plan how to best implement OKRs.

Finally, throughout the entire process of establishing your objectives and key results, filling your team in about them, and pushing forward to actually go about achieving them, never forget to utilize as many reputable OKR resources that you can get your hand on. Goal setting and achieving those goals is no easy task and it is all that much harder if this approach to business is new to you and everyone that you work with. There are many books, online resources, programs and more than can help you jumpstart your OKR experience and get off to goal-setting and achieving on the right foot from the jump.

In no time, you’ll see your business benefit from your decision to do so!

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