Getting back in touch with the “why”
You’ve got Objectives on paper, and you’ve even run them through your first checks to make sure that they’re going to work for you.
We’re now going to run a special check on your Objectives that ensure they’re connecting purpose and profit.
We totally get that profit might be your main Objective, or that profit might not be a concern for you at all. When we say, “Purpose and Profit,” we’re using that as a shorthand to say that all good Objectives must encompass a purpose and specific measurements that move you forward.
Objectives marry the pie-in-the-sky ambitions with the down-on-the-ground realities.
Connecting to your purpose
Most likely, your company has a mission. Sometimes the mission is just given to you and you’re responsible for making it happen. Other times, you may need to consider how your role or team plays a part in that mission.
We’re talking things like:
- Solve world hunger
- Make products that last an entire lifetime
- Make the best hot dogs in Wichita
- Or even team-level: Provide world-class customer service to our customers
To get to your “why,” take some time to reflect on the following:
- Why does my role or team exist?
- Who are my “constituents” and how do we make them feel?
- What do I expect from myself and my team when we come to work?
- Who do we report to and what pressures do they put on my team and me?
Now, with all those thoughts swimming around, take a shot at filling in the blanks below:
We are here to
__________. We are doing that because
If you can, you’ll have a nice, simple statement of your “why” or purpose.
TO DO: Reflect on the questions above and fill in the blanks to refine your statement of purpose.
Sustaining and Growing
Oftentimes our goals and Objectives can be about making money. Sales goals are not necessarily Objectives, but they can be one within a set of them. Other organizations, like nonprofits or governments, may not need to put profits front and center, but there will most likely be a revenue goal of some kind in mind.
The point is — we all have “number goals” we need to hit to survive.
It’s more useful when thinking about Objectives to shift from a profit mindset to a Sustaining and Growing mindset. What does it take to maintain the level you’re at? And what would it take to grow beyond your current level?
Essentially we’re talking about the model of your organization. Having a clear understanding of how your purpose and your profit are related (and need to change in the next 90 days) will help you craft a better, more effective Objective and set of Key Results…
If you need a hint to get started, try filling in the blanks below:
We sustain ourselves by
_________ in order to
TO-DO: Fill in the blanks above to refine your statement of Sustaining and Growing.
Purpose and Profits
Now here’s where Objectives are special. They marry our purpose goals with our profit goals.
Going back to your list of Objectives from the last lesson, take a look at the ones you’ve narrowed down and ask yourself, “Does this Objective connect to our purpose? And does it also help us grow and sustain?”
If the answer is no, try to infuse what’s missing into your Objectives.
TO DO: Evaluate your existing Objectives to see if they are connected to your Purpose and the ability to Grow and Sustain.
Additional Resources & Further Reading
- Article: OKRs for Designers: Pivoting with Ease
- FAQ: How to Find the ‘Why’ of Your Company
- Watch Below: John Doerr discusses connecting purpose and passion to goals and finding his “why.”
- For a deeper dive on using OKRs within your organization and earn your OKR Certification in our Coursera course.