Please accept cookies for preferences, marketing, and statistics to watch this video.

OKR Sessions: What Are OKRs? Objectives and Key Results Basics (VIDEO)


Sam Prince
Published on 11.09.2019

Ryan Panchadsaram, co-creator of WhatMatters.com with John Doerr, explains the basics of the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) goal-setting method.

Coach Ryan Panchadsaram, a co-founder of WhatMatters.com, says that the way for an organization to make a lot of progress when goal setting is put to paper what their Objective and Key Results (OKRs) are.

“OKRs are a way to capture the ambitions of the team you work on,” Panchadsaram adds. “They are a way to articulate the mission, vision, the objective of what you’re trying to do. And then the path of how you get there.” No matter what your goal is or what area it’s in, OKRs work to answer the “whats” and the “hows” for all goals, whether they are output and customer service-related to more existential, input questions, like how to build a company culture of collaboration.

The formula to write an OKR is simple: an Objective is what is to be achieved. By definition, objectives are significant, concrete, and action-oriented. Coach Ryan adds in the video that they should also be inspirational, poetic, and concise—something that people can easily remember. Tying an objective to a company mission can help with all of these. For example, Google recently published this mission statement as it moves into the hardware sector:

“At Google, we strive to build sustainability into everything we do. And now that our business includes building hardware, our commitment remains the same. Our ambition is that every product we build will leave people, the planet, and our communities better than we found them. We are at the start of a journey of reimagining how even better hardware and hardware experiences are created.”

Alongside it, Google shared this OKR:

O: Be the neighbor everyone wants in the communities in which we operate.

Key Results:

  1. 100% of device orders shipping to and from Google customers will be carbon neutral by 2020.
  2. We require the highest ethical standards throughout our supply chain and are working to promote meaningful improvements in the communities in which we operate.

This high-level OKR easily encapsulates Google’s stated mission. For help finding and drafting your “company why,” click here.

In the video, Coach Ryan also highlights the key results aspect of OKRs, which should be measurable and timebound. Key Results benchmark and monitor how we get to the objective.

To hear the entire interview with Coach Ryan check it out above, or, to have him be your OKR coach, click here.

Sam Prince (@samprincetweets) is a journalist, storyteller, and the content strategist of WhatMatters.com. 


MORE

article

How 23andMe reinstituted OKRs to power its current phase of growth.

article

A freelancer turns ideas into traction with OKRs.

video

In this video, Alexis Gonzales-Black explains how to write good OKRs with examples so you can start writing ambitious goals, too.

article

How Allbirds sets ambitious metrics for R&D.

article

How OKRs are creating MASSive change.

article

How Superhuman discovered a galvanizing OKR.

article

How a company without managers gets where they need to go.

article

An office-wide excel spreadsheet transparently levels the playing field at Apartment Therapy.

article

Minerva Schools is redefining what a university can be by using OKRs to illuminate the future of higher education.

article

Allbirds cofounder Joey Zwillinger talks about measuring sustainability and their carbon footprint by using OKRs.

article

Learn How Possible and Nyaya Health are growing a global culture of collaboration with OKRs.

article

Possible has improved healthcare in Nepal by using BHAGs to maximize their OKRs.

article

Learn how WINS meetings give everyone at Apartment Therapy a sense of collective accomplishment within an OKR cycle.

article

Follow along as the digital publication Apartment Therapy uses OKRs to get to the next level.

article

Thaddeus Ferber of the Forum for Youth Investment nonprofit shares how OKRs encouraged bold moves during a time of budget cuts.

article

Laszlo Bock explains the evidence behind why bonuses should be kept separate from individual goals.

article

Code for America's Jennifer Pahlka and Lou Moore explain how the nonprofit uses OKRs to defeat local government bureaucracy.

article

How transparency makes an organization’s objectives clear and how it can be used in nonprofits, schools, and government.

article

Using OKRs to power growth, engagement, and diversity

article

And Why You Should Too.

article

Using OKRs Even When Your Boss Doesn’t.

video

John shares his take on what makes the difference between success and failure. Telling stories of ambitious leaders and teams, John's keen observations and insights bring light to an oft overlooked aspect of dreaming big.

video

The founder and CEO of 23andMe shares the ups, downs, and in betweens of goal setting.

article

A Silicon Valley luminary finds a new approach to defining success.

article

A closer look at the man who invented OKRs.

article

Meet the California grade schoolers charting their own path.

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.