Dear Andy,
I’m in the beginning of rolling out OKRs to my entire company of 3,500 people, and am trying to determine the potential impact of the OKR rollout in dollars. Do you have any data from a study that indicates companies who utilize the OKR framework outperform companies who do not? My executive team is a little apprehensive about starting this new process, so any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Sara
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Hi Sara!
Thanks for writing in! Let’s see what we can do to help assuage some of those executives’ fears, shall we?

We aren’t aware of a study like the one you mention, but we’ve seen time and time again that teams who align on truly mission critical priorities achieve more than they thought possible. We’re not the only ones who think OKRs are the bees knees: Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Yahoo, Uber, Linkedin, Adobe, Spotify, Netflix, Allbirds (and many others) are all wildly successful organizations that have used OKRs. We’re not saying OKRs were the only factor in these companies’ success, of course, but they certainly were a common one.

If your team is already setting goals on a regular basis, the execs may be more familiar with OKR fundamentals than they realize. OKRs are simply, in our opinion, the best way to get the very most out of those goals. In other words, the shift in practice shouldn’t be particularly revolutionary, but the results almost always are. Why are OKRs so great, they may ask? Let us count the ways.

OKRs help teams pinpoint what matters most, and have been known to align even the most discombobulated of companies. Pair that with transparency and you’ve got everyone on the same page. And not just the same page but the right page as well! Additionally, there’s no ‘set it and forget it’ with OKRs, as frequent check-ins and honest grading sessions establish commitment and regular opportunities to course-correct.

Perhaps your executive team would also rest a little more easily if they knew they didn’t have to roll out OKRs to all 3,500 employees at once? We recommended starting small and starting at the top. Three or four high level, company-wide OKRs are the best way to get started. Trust us, though they may be hesitant at first, once higher-ups have a chance to see the results of OKRs firsthand, they’ll be more ready to take things to the next level.

Lastly, allow me to direct your attention to our stories page. It’s chock-full of companies who use OKRs to take their businesses to the next level. From Pinterest to the YMCA, you’re bound to find real-life examples of teams who found immense value in OKRs. We hope they both reassure and inspire you.
Well Sara, that’s all I have for you. Thanks for writing in and keep us posted on your OKR journey.

Sincerely,
Billy from the What Matters Team

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