A Glimpse into The World’s Best Guide to OKR

“Measure What Matters” is an interesting read for individuals with strong determination and goals that they think to be out-of-reach. John Doerr presents a revolutionary goal-setting protocol to organizations and also start-ups that have planned to build the ladder to the sky. The venture capitalist has introduced Andy Grove’s legacy to more than fifty companies and is continuing to do so. John Doerr is not the only person to spread the word about the novel method but all the Intel and Google alumni implement and suggest the techniques in the companies they move to.  

“Measure What Matters will transform your approach to setting goals for yourself and your organization. Whether you are in a small startup, or large global company, John Doerr pushes every leader to think deeply about creating a focused, purpose-driven business environment.”  

—Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments  

OKR – the Swiss Army knife of Goals Management  

John Doerr carried the result-driven approach, OKR, and introduced it to many top companies and also start-ups that were destined to become the most profitable company. OKR is the abbreviated form of ‘Objectives and Key Results,’ which changed the fate of the then start-up Google in 1999. John Doerr delivered a presentation to the google team, which Larry Page appreciates in his foreword to the book, on OKR and the significance of implementing it. But again, John Doerr makes it clear that OKR ought to be blended with ‘sound judgment, strong leadership, or a creative workplace culture’ to achieve success.  

Objectives are what has to be done and key results are how it has to be done. Key Results should be numerically defined to measure progress and realize the goals. The 1999 presentation to Google defines OKR as “a management methodology that helps to ensure that the company focuses efforts on the same important issues throughout the organization.” The objective of Google to create 10 billion dollars revenue at its beginning stage makes the readers’ jaw drop. The objective could have seemed almost impossible and too ambitious for a start-up at that time, but they have achieved it.  

The objective of Google: To organize the world’s information and make universally accessible and useful. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were greatly influenced by the OKR system, determined the key results and were consistent in their progress. The book is filled with case studies of Google, Intel’s Operation Crush, Adobe, YouTube, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and MyFitnessPal. Many ambitious and outcome-oriented organizations benefitted from OKR, and those organizations also include, AOL, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Oracle, Slack, Spotify, Twitter, Anheuser-Busch, BMW, Disney, Exxon, and Samsung.


Four Superpowers of OKR   

‘Ideas are easy; Execution is everything,’ is John Doerr’s Mantra. To help organizations with the execution part, OKRs play a vital role, John Doerr reckons. OKR, the modernized organizational and management structure, drives business success, agility, and innovation. John Doerr defined the following four characteristics as the superpowers of OKR. (Read the book to know why and how; the book has many inspirational lessons).  

  1. OKR helps the organizations to focus on what really matters  
  2. The goal-setting framework helps in faster alignment and engagement. Employees can gain autonomy and directly align their goals to the company’s goals.  
  3. OKR’s are data-driven which enables no-judgment accountability.  
  4. Aspirational goals and committed goals can be achieved with OKR  

Continuous Performance Management – the new trend in HR   

The first part of the book focuses on OKR, the narratives of Bono and Bill Gates, and behind-the-scenes first-person case studies, while the second part concentrates on continuous improvement through CFRs and OKRs. CFR is Conversation, Feedback, Recognition, and it is gaining momentum as the annual review processes are becoming outdated systems. CFR helps in the engagement and retention of employees, and it redefines the performance management system. HRs recently advocate for the continuous performance review process as it is tested and proved to be the most efficient for both companies’ and employees’ growth and development.  

Final Thoughts 

If you are in a position to lead your team, company, or formulate policies for your company, it is a must-read book as it helps you rethink and innovate your company strategies and culture. The book insists on an open and transparent culture that enhances engagement and innovation in the organization. Measure what matters and grow and move ahead as a single entity.  


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