The success of any organization largely depends upon the goals they set and how effectively teams work towards achieving them. While most organizations set goals, they often lack a sense of purpose to inspire teams. With this very intent – of setting meaningful goals and achieving them, we launched Profit.co, an Objectives and Key Results (OKR) tool to aid our growth and enhance our efficiency and productivity.
OKR is a popular goal-setting system that was introduced by Professor Andy Grove, the third CEO of Intel and known as the Father of OKR Approach to Management. This system empowers organizations to focus efforts on the same crucial issues throughout the organization. Simply put, under this goal-setting system objectives are essentially what you want to have accomplished and key results are how you could go about to get that done.
There are three critical components to setting effective OKRs. The first step is to set goals correctly and to do so we must answer the question why. It is imperative for organizations, leaders, and employees alike to develop a clear sense of why the goal is important. It is from the answer to this ‘why’ that we can arrive at the objectives. The key attributes of setting the right objectives is that it must be significant, concrete, action-oriented and inspiring.
Step two is really to understand the ‘what’ of goal setting. What actions are being taken to achieve the end goal? Does our organization offer an environment to learn, make mistakes, and grow?
Lastly, it is about the how – how effective are the key results. Good results are specific and time-bound, aggressive yet realistic, recurring, and measurable and verifiable.
It is not enough anymore to just set goals, but even more important to stretch goals. This approach to goal setting can help organizations to not just stay on track but also help teams think and do things differently.
In 2008, Sundar Pichai, the current CEO of Alphabet Inc., and its subsidiary Google LLC, set a three-year-long objective to build the best browser. His key result was carefully thought as the number of users. In the first year, his goal was to get 20 million users. However, he missed his goal as he got less than 10 million users. In the second year he raised the bar to 50 million and got 37 million users. Finally, in the third year, he upped the stake again to a hundred million. To achieve this, he launched an aggressive marketing campaign, had a wider distribution, and enhanced the technology. The result? He reached 111 million users.
At SunTec, we take our OKRs very seriously, with objectives cascading top down – right from our CEO down to the junior most SunTecian. All 650 SunTecians today have set objectives that are being tracked and measured consistently with the opportunity for continuous correction rather than end of year review alone. All departments and teams work towards a deﬁned goal and in line with the organization’s strategy. Better focus, increased productivity and sustained results is what we have set out to achieve this year.
Our OKR system ensures there are frequent checks to measure progress and adjust the course of action accordingly. The key to success is to set, measure, meet and exceed our KPIs. The golden word here is measure – it is this measurement that really matters and motivates us to do better each day.
We believe it is this collective commitment that will help us to not just achieve but stretch our goals.