When John Doerr’s book Measure What Matters stormed into the business world in 2018, many executives rushed to find effective ways to implement the goal-setting methods outlined in the book to help them better execute critical business strategy. Many organizational leaders turned to software to help bring Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) best practices into their organization.
But as we know, the cure for your organization’s challenges isn’t as simple as pressing a button on a high-performance machine that can go from 0 to 60 in less than five seconds. Software solutions can hold a lot of promise, but if not implemented effectively, with new processes to support the solution, it can be challenging and ineffective.
OKR software can only help you execute your business strategy when effectively embedded into your organization’s workflow. To make the most of your OKR software solution, and to master strategic execution, follow these best practices for OKRs.
Strategic Execution: The Key to Your Organization’s Success
What do you want your organization to accomplish? No matter what you hope to do, every company has the same end target: to serve their clients while achieving financial success. You set your strategy — and employ your people to effectively execute that strategy — through goals (Objectives). You determine the success of those goals through measurable outcomes (Key Results) and key performance indicators (KPIs). All of this means that, to be successful, your organization must take an intentional approach to strategic execution.
But strategic execution is not easy. In fact, according to Gartner, 67% of business functions are not aligned with broader organizational strategies. The gap between goals and the ability to execute those goals can feel impossible to bridge for many.
At Inspire Software, we’ve cracked the strategic execution code: We help organizations take a three-pronged approach to strategic execution that incorporates the implementation of OKRs, Leadership Development, and Continuous Performance Management (CPM). With this holistic approach, we enable organizations to execute strategy and meet performance goals that have a positive impact on bottom-line business results.
There’s No Strategy Without OKRs
To successfully execute strategy, individuals at all levels of the organization must be able to understand their role and how it aligns to the overall strategy of the organization. Some executives see strategy as something that is inherently complex. They feel that, in order to encompass all the necessary nuance, strategies must have multiple layers and many components. However, organizations with more complex strategies struggle the most in executing them, according to Deloitte. For this reason, it’s critical that leaders develop strategies that are as simple as possible to avoid ambiguity or confusion.
In addition to a functional strategy, organizations need a structured way of setting and tracking goals. That’s where OKRs come in. OKRs provide a framework that ensures individuals can identify and understand goals for themselves and their organization, as well as the ways outcomes will be measured upon completion.
Leadership Development and CPM Make OKRs Work
To get the most out of OKRs, organizations need a CPM technology solution. With CPM, managers and individuals consistently collaborate, creating real-time opportunities for high-impact coaching on the objectives individuals and teams throughout the organization are pursuing. This kind of continuous feedback helps employees grow their skills within the natural flow of work. At the same time, with a CPM software solution, leaders can track individual and team progress, identifying and addressing potential roadblocks. Leaders can then initiate intentional, quality conversations that ensure an engaging pursuit of the critical objectives that are linked to the company’s strategy. Through an effective CPM process, individuals at all levels of an organization can fully leverage OKRs and contribute to the execution of business strategy.
Without Commitment, Tech Solutions Will Only Get You Halfway There
We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm, and while technology solutions can help streamline your work, you can’t just push a button and watch OKRs transform your business. That’s because strategy execution requires a commitment to your implementation of OKRs and CPM.
To successfully implement OKRs, leaders at every level of your organization, including individual contributors, must be committed to building best practices. It takes time and effort to master these processes. But the fact is that implementation of OKRs, backed by CPM, maximizes performance through goals and develops leaders within your organization. A commitment to these processes, and an effective tool to help guide you, will lead you to consistent strategic execution, and broader business success.