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John Doerr on OKRs and Measuring What Matters

Most of us have experience with – or at least know of – OKRs. It’s a goal-setting-system for companies to help them advance and it stands for Objectives and Key Results. A framework that is invented in the seventies and popularized by companies such as Google today.

In our startup shipit, we are looking at how we can effectively add OKRs into our product management software. The idea is to connect ideas and initiatives with the company the objectives.

I started reading up a bit and ran into this interview where John Doerr, chairman of Kleiner Perkins, more than a successful investor, and author of Measure What Matters tells us a bit about the OKRs. A great introduction and inspiration.

These are the 5 pay-offs he mentions when making use of OKRs (F.A.C.T.S. in short)

  1. Exceptional focus
  2. A high degree of alignment (because of the transparency)
  3. Uncommon degree of commitment
  4. Track the progress
  5. Build a risk-taking culture where it’s okay to stretc

I recommend watching this video.

At one point, he refers to Jeff Bezos, on how extremely important it was for Amazon to keep on doing bold campaigns or initiatives. And many of them fail, but that is the key. According to Doerr, a fundamental question is: “Is it okay to fail? Do you have a risk-taking culture?”. Is it okay in your company to fail? Or are you already looking at the institutional NO?

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