What are some company-wide OKR examples?

What are some company-wide OKR examples?

by Bruce Gil


Published on 01.21.2019

Company-wide OKRs help align teams, ensuring all members are working toward the same goals. They provide clarity throughout the whole organization about what a company’s most important priorities are at the moment.

That might sound like a simple task, but according to Aaron Levie, CEO and founder of the enterprise cloud company Box, “At any given time, some significant percentage of people are working on the wrong things.”

Even those at the top aren’t immune to misalignment. Only one-third of 11,000 senior executives and managers could list their company’s top three priorities, revealed a 2015 survey conducted by the MIT Sloan School of Management and the London Business School. That’s a huge problem. A company can be tugged in too many separate directions overtime as departments and employees make decisions without clearly set priorities.

This is all preventable. By defining company-wide OKRs your whole organization is collectively committing to the same objectives. As OKRs cascade down an organization, departments and individuals become accountable for ensuring specific KRs are completed. However, by committing to the same goals everyone in the organization becomes responsible for supporting each other in order to accomplish them.

A company-wide OKR pulls everyone in the same direction, serving as your team’s north star.

Well-crafted company-wide OKRs are simple but pack a punch

They are short and sweet but filled with meaning like a good haiku. Again, this can be harder than it sounds. Even the WhatMatters.com Team’s first attempts at drafting company-wide OKRs weren’t perfect. We had separate OKRs covering everything we needed to accomplish.

Here are some examples of our first attempts to craft objectives:

  • O: To get into a rhythm of creating different content types suitable for each platform and audience types
  • O: Have distribution channels ready and firing
  • O: Execute media outreach plan for key audiences

Our co-founder, Ryan Panchadsaram, reminded us that OKRs don’t have to encompass everything, just the most important. He pointed out that what we were really trying to accomplish was to create engaging content that helps leaders reach their goals and to operate like a top-tier media company. Those have now become our guiding company-level objectives.

How are they different from to-do lists?

The difference is in the key results. They are the secret sauce of the OKR system. Each objective is completed as measured by a few KRs. Determining these KRs forces an organization to articulate what metrics it will use to measure progress on its objectives.

In the case of WhatMatters.com, our KRs let us know whether we are truly inspiring leaders and are operating like a top-tier media company. They include benchmarks on how much content we produce in a week, newsletter subscribers, and how many followers we have on social media.

KRs are versatile and can be both quantitative and qualitative providing precision and quality assurance. It's vital to recognize that the metrics you use can have ripple effects. For example, in 2012 YouTube decided to switch its focus from tracking views to tracking watch time. The reason being that longer watch times were a better indicator than more views that users were happy. As they updated the website and its algorithms with this new focus on watch time, daily view numbers went up as well. Whereas, a focus on views could have likely had an opposite effect on watch time.

OKRs require your organization to be more mindful on how it will reach its objectives. Ultimately, this removes any confusion surrounding priorities and what success means for your company.

OKRs are a powerful system that steers your whole organization in the same direction. Learn more about OKRs by reading Measure What Matters or exploring more FAQs, stories, and resources right here at WhatMatters.com.

Bruce Gil (@brucgl) is a Las Vegas-based writer and journalist who writes about  leadership, team management, and international entrepreneurship. 


MORE

FAQ

When a new or significantly recalibrated high-level quarterly OKR comes up, what’s the best way to keep your team unified?

FAQ

Common OKR mistakes are all litmus tests to decide: Are you really measuring what matters? Check and see with these common OKR mistakes taken from Google’s OKR playbook.

FAQ

Cascading OKRs will help align the various teams and individuals across your company toward the same overall goals. Here are some examples.

FAQ

What is a good number of OKRs to have? When it comes to objectives and key results, what to focus on can seem like an objective itself. Here’s the answer.

FAQ

Why use OKRs? Because OKRs are about way more than just having goals. Objectives and key results help you articulate how you're going to achieve them.

FAQ

"OKR" stands for "objective and key result." OKRs are a goal-setting tool that helps figure out what you want your team to accomplish and how to do it.

FAQ

Are you looking for an OKR coach, speaker, or author? Let John Doerr and the "Measure What Matters" team guide you through OKRs with FAQs, Resources, and Stories.

FAQ

If you’re looking for paid ways to scale OKR adoption and usage across a company these tools might be something to look into.

FAQ

Organizations that are mission-based can be rewarding but it can be easy to drift from the original mission. Learn how OKRs are great for keeping nonprofits on-track.

FAQ

OKRs are great for software engineers because they prioritize ideas and assign metrics to completion. Get inspired by these real-world software engineering OKR examples here.

FAQ

A well-defined company purpose provides a clear vision and inspiration for your team. Learn how to find your company's mission with these strategies.

FAQ

The 5 key benefits of OKRs include focus, alignment, commitment, tracking, and stretching. Learn more about each of them and how they work here.

FAQ

“OKRs” stands for Objectives and Key Results. They are a tool used by individuals, teams, and companies like Google for setting ambitious goals.

FAQ

OKRs can be used for office administration to help improve productivity and efficiency across your entire operation. Learn how with these examples.

FAQ

If you’re approaching the end of on OKR cycle, it may be time to refresh on how to grade them. Here are some examples of how.

FAQ

Pairing quantity and quality key results is a great strategy to strengthen OKRs. Learn how to do it with these examples.

FAQ

OKRs are great for setting personal goals outside of the office. Learn how to use them to think through unambiguous life goals.

FAQ

If you’re feeling that your OKR cycle is not working, take a step back and try to pinpoint the problem. Here are 7 ways to do that.

FAQ

Bottom-up OKRs sparks innovation by freeing individual employees to be creative. Here are some examples.

FAQ

Committed or aspirational OKRs both serve different purposes and have separate ways they can be acted upon. Learn how here.

FAQ

What free tools and software are available for tracking OKRs? If you're looking for a budget-friendly way to commit to transparency, here are some ideas.

FAQ

What are some examples of OKRs and how do I write them? Get ideas for bettering your OKRs or compare your current ones to gain insight.

Join the community

Join the community

Get exclusive guidance from John, Ryan, and the What Matters team by signing up for our weekly newsletter, Audacious. You’ll learn week-by-week how to sharpen your OKRs and stay on track to reach your goals.

Get exclusive guidance from John, Ryan, and the What Matters team by signing up for our weekly newsletter, Audacious. You’ll learn week-by-week how to sharpen your OKRs and stay on track to reach your goals.