Lesson 1: Why OKRs?
Courtesy Alan Ricks / MASS Design Group
My name is John Doerr and, along with Ryan Panchadsaram, I co-founded What Matters. I also wrote the NYTimes bestselling book Measure What Matters.
I wanted to personally welcome you to this “Getting Started” course before you’re off to the races with Ryan, Lisa and our other talented What Matters team and coaches.
Throughout my life, I’ve had the great fortune of working with, and closely observing, some of the most influential companies and effective business leaders of the past several decades. My personal journey started when I was an early employee and Intel.
There I met Andy Grove, the company’s eventual president and CEO. Andy was a legendary manager of people and, as history shows, a very effective leader. What I noticed during my time with Andy was that, while being wildly effective, his tactics were simple. He was a master of goal setting. His simple, proven principles led me to create the OKR framework.
Which brings us to why you’re here now.
I’m going to be direct: many of us are setting goals wrong. In the most egregious cases, we’re not setting goals at all.
I’ve seen it time and time again. When companies set the right objectives for the right reasons, they succeed. When they push forward without direction, they lose their way and eventually fail.
So at the heart of this series, we will share with you what really makes a difference: how and why you must set meaningful and audacious goals.
In our view, goals come in two pieces, Objectives and Key Results.
Objectives are the “what.” They describe the path forward, the place you want to be.
Key Results are the “how.” They provide the roadmap for accomplishing your Objectives.
And there it is. By the end of this course you’ll have an understanding of how to write your own Objectives and Key Results, while also being able to distinguish good ones from bad ones.
Sure, OKRs are a goal-setting method or a framework, as we call it, but I encourage you to think of our system as a mindset. OKRs allow you to approach the big dark void of, “What do we do next?” with confidence.
In short, we’ll help your teams get to the mountaintop.
We’re glad you’ve joined us and soon you’ll join a whole host of other leaders who know what matters most. Now I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of Ryan.
(JOHN DOERR’S SIGNATURE)
1.2 What Is an OKR?