OKRs for Alignment

According to a Harvard Business Review, companies with highly aligned employees are more than twice as likely to be top performers. According to a poll of global CEOs, lack of alignment is the number-one obstacle to executing a growth strategy.

strategic-trinity

Strategic Trinity

Modern day CXOs are expected to work closely as "high performing teams" in building the glue between a company's vision, mission & objectives i.e. its strategic trinity. It is very important that a CXO's OKRs are deeply aligned with company's strategic objectives.

Vertical Alignment

In a "command and control" structured organisation, goals are set at the top and handed downwards with strict focus on goal cascade. Agility, flexibility and creativity become a casualty when strict cascading is practiced.

Modern, agile organisations encourage a healthy balance between alignment and autonomy, common purpose and creative latitude.

John Doerr, in his book "Measure What Matters", says, "High performing teams thrive on a creative tension between top-down and bottom-up goal setting, a mix of aligned and unaligned OKRs."

Whilst 100% autonomy is utopian, a 50-50 mix of top-down and bottom-up goals help teams innovate and thrive.

Horizontal or Cross-functional Alignment

As companies become large and intricate and projects or initiatives require complex orchestration of interdependent teams, unacknowledged dependencies remain the number one cause of project slippage. When OKRs call out cross-functional dependancies in a transparent and visible manner, troubled spots can be attacked quickly and any blockers can be addressed immediately.

By clearly defining objectives and key results, one can hold people accountable for their work. They can also measure whether or not they have met the objective. Finally, being clear about priorities allows team members to focus on doing what matters most rather than getting distracted by other tasks available at a given time.

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