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At a company-wide meeting, executive leadership says the company will now create the next big thing that will disrupt… everything. Teams should deliver results no later than next quarter.

The only problem is that this goal doesn’t have a clear map of how progress should unfold. You may leave the meeting excited, but wonder how this will happen in one quarter. Or even two. You pull your boss aside and say, “Can we use OKRs to achieve this goal?” And your boss might look mystified and say:

Why Use OKRs?

OKRs are a collaborative goal-setting methodology teams use to map, plan, and measure progress toward a goal. They guide teams and individuals to set ambitious goals and track progress with measurable results. They have helped the likes of Google, Intel, and Netflix become wildly successful.

“I’m not quite convinced,” your boss may respond. “Set up a meeting, and let’s discuss this further.” And so you go back to your desk and think: how can I convince my boss that OKRs are the best way to achieve this ambitious goal? After all, pitching OKRs to senior leadership requires finesse and planning. How do you structure your thoughts, data, and feedback in the most compelling way?

Here are a few key points that can convince your boss that OKRs are the best way to achieve BEHAGs (big hairy audacious goals), or any other goal for that matter.

Begin With the Context

Start by understanding the priorities of senior leadership beyond just the objective at hand. Have your finger on the pulse of the company strategy and execution plan. If there is confusion or conflict over how leaders and employees understand how to achieve goals, this could be an excellent case for implementing OKRs.

Explain the Benefits of OKRs

The benefits alone can be enough to convince your boss that OKRs can be the framework to drive success. Be sure to emphasize that OKRs improve alignment, focus, and accountability across teams. OKRs provide clear direction to every team and individual, which increases productivity. Also, OKRs help to track progress toward goals through greater transparency and accountability.

Explain How OKRs Align With Organizational Goals

Specifically, explain how OKRs can help your organization or team align with strategic priorities. If the goal is “the next big thing,” demonstrate how OKRs align teams and individuals with specific, measurable outcomes that lead to big-picture objectives. You can also share how OKRs will amplify the focus on existing Key Performance Indicators the organization uses to measure performance. Presenting case studies and success stories of other companies implementing OKRs can be a compelling argument in favor of OKRs.

Provide a Clear Implementation Plan

Impress your boss by outlining a simple plan to adopt OKRs, including what resources will be required. Present an implementation plan that includes the steps involved, key milestones, and the support needed, such as OKR training or certification. Understand and present potential obstacles and demonstrate how they will be addressed. Also, explain that the OKR framework is flexible and can adapt to evolving business conditions and strategic objectives. This ensures the organization remains agile and responsive in a rapidly changing environment.

Detail Metrics for Success

Offer metrics and benchmarks such as key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress and outcomes toward defined objectives. By embracing a data-driven approach, you can reveal the accountability and transparency OKRs provide to track performance effectively.

Address Potential Concerns

Your boss will have concerns and questions, so be prepared to address them. Common problems include: resistance to change, fear of failure, or skepticism about the effectiveness of the OKR framework. You can gather supporting documentation to back up your faith in OKRs, including testimonials, success stories, and even the history of OKRs and how they have helped Google become successful. Knowing that OKRs have proven effective in many small and large organizations will give your boss the confidence that the system can be highly advantageous in leading the future.

Pitch OKRs and Find Success

Sure, OKRs have helped countless companies succeed. But that alone isn’t enough to convince executive leaders that they are right for your team or organization. And the OKR framework may not be. But until you understand and explain how OKRs will work within your organization, you or your boss may never know if the framework is right for the job.

However, when you need more firepower, the OKR experts at Hyperdrive will work closely with your team and senior leaders. We can help educate them on incorporating OKRs into strategy planning so that OKRs don’t become a bottleneck but a well-understood tool that creates top-to-bottom alignment, radical focus, and a substantial impact on your company’s bottom line. Our expertise is in agility and training leadership and product teams to build the right processes. Plus, OKRs are a tool that proves Agile works for your organization.

If you need to learn more about the power of OKRs to align a company, contact our team to set up a free consultation.

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