Superkinetics “You Ask, We Answer”: How to succeed with your OKR rollout

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As promised, season 2 of the Superkinetics Podcast is bringing some exciting changes with it: Every 3rd episode from now on is a coming in new format called “You Ask, We Answer”. In the “You Ask, We Answer” episodes, we invite experts to answer the questions from our Community. As our Community is incredibly diverse and international, we have moreover decided to have all our “You Ask, We Answer” episodes in English.

Do you want to submit a question for the next “You Ask, We Answer” episode? Then submit them in the Workpath Community.

To get a preview into the new Superkinetics format, we have brought to you 4 of the most interesting questions from the first “You Ask, We Answer episode” together with a brief version of their answer. You can listen to the full episode with our expert Simon Bock, Head of Customer Success at Workpath, right here.

1. Are there any organizations where OKRs won’t work?

    • This is rather a question of “how” they work and not “if” they work, since the underlying principles of OKRs like customer-focus or measurability of strategic initiatives are relevant to almost every organization.
    • What‘s important is to make clear what you want to achieve by rolling out OKRs and to embed and integrate it as part of your larger transformation vision
    • Also be clear about the fact that OKRs are not a silver bullet and will never solve all your problems.
    • Make sure to not rush into OKRs. Ask yourself first where you want to go. 
    • Remember, OKRs are not plug-and-play solution. Creating a success case out of OKRs is an iterative process. You have to iterate to make them work for your organization.
    • The OKR process will show you the pain-points of your organization and where you still have to work on.
    • The key success drivers of making OKRs work: get the expectation management right from the beginning and get buy-in from all stakeholders, especially top leadership.

2. If a company starts an OKR roll-out, how can the organization assess if they are successful with OKRs?

    • This is one of the most frequently asked questions.
    • To break it down, you have to understand first that there are 2 types of success: process success and outcome success.
    • From a process-criteria standpoint you can track certain metrics and goals that you want to hit in terms of engagement and adoption. 
    • More importantly, you should track goals related to the vision you have for the transformation of the company. Be it customer-centricity or any other aspiration that your company has.
    • Possible positive outcomes of OKRs can be increased delivery speed, market adaptability, alignment or focus. You can read more about OKR benefits in our OKR Guide.

3. OKRs now have more than 40 years of history and are defined differently in certain geographic regions, like the US vs Europe. How can you make sure to choose the right OKR approach for your organization?

    • At Workpath, we help organizations to find other successful organizations who have introduced OKRs themselves to exchange best practices and critical learning experiences.
    • Some of the most important points to take into consideration are:
      1. It is not about making a carbon-copy of another company. No matter if the company is Google or Intel. It will just not work.
      2. Get clarity on where the organization wants to go.
      3. Identify, what the aspects are that hinder your organization to go from strategy to execution.
      4. Start with a best practice approach, then iterate.
      5. Get to know other leaders, e.g. in the Workpath Community or at one of our events.

4. Stretch Goals/ Moonshot Goals: How should leaders and teams deal with stretch goals in the beginning and over the course of an OKR introduction?

    • The first thing to do is to understand the culture of the organization.
    • The key question here is: “Is failure accepted in the organization?”
    • In Europe and especially the German market, it is oftentimes recommendable to start with “normal” goals to then slowly introduce stretch goals/moonshot goals.
    • If you make use of these especially ambitious goals, you should label them as such and communicate openly about them being extra-aspriational.

 

Listen to S2E3: “You Ask, We Answer”: How to succeed with your OKR rollout right here. Did you like our new “We Ask, You Answer” format? Follow us on Spotify to never miss the newest Superkinetics episode. We moreover always appreciate a rating and your feedback.

Furthermore, you can find more OKR FAQs here.

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