Monday, October 8, 2018

Anjali - OKRs Achieved

I read 'Measure What Matters' by John Doerr recently and was completely taken in by the simplicity of the idea and how well it works. I  promised myself that I will implement the idea and also share it as much as I can to make ideas come into reality with better execution for as many as I could.

The idea is really simple - write 2-3 Objectives - stuff you want to achieve. This must be significantly big and not an incremental improvement over what you are doing. It could be ideally an objective you want to achieve over a time period of a year, 3-6 months etc. If you achieve 0.7 of the Objective, you have done really well.

Each Objective must have 3-4 Key results which are outcomes/ results and not activities. KRs will be specific, timebound and measurable. At any point you should know where you stand with your OKRs. It's your own Objective. Share it with your team and have frequent conversations about it. Get feedback and develop a culture of recognition. (A link to my detailed book review for those who are interested

Since I was super kicked about the idea, I shared it at home with the usual victims, Shobhs and Anjali. All of us sat down and wrote OKRs and while Shobha and I have longer-term Objectives (which are doing way better than normal), Anjali wrote hers with crystal clarity. There's a huge difference in the way she wrote hers and the way I wrote mine. Hers is uncluttered and has one Objective only. And it sticks out a mile. She added a line for herself at the bottom 'Be the best you can be'. I was happy that I could share the idea and she could benefit from it at her own pace.

But then she sat down and prepared for her exams exactly as she planned. I was impressed with her focus, her questions and the way she would egg us both to help or ask questions. There were times when she woke up early to study.

Result. She topped almost all her exams and with a comfortable margin, which was a first. Top she does but not all, and there is always someone snapping at her heels. This time she sailed through easily. The execution was spot on. Results clear.

'Congratulations! I said. 'Well done' when she told me with great excitement in the car that she topped all exams. 'OKR nanna,' she said, not losing sight of the simple practice we had used. And the moment we came home she took a sketch pen and wrote on the top of this OKR - 'OKR Achieved'. I loved that act of closure. And celebration.

Now to send this to John Doerr and thank him for the wonderful book. It works and very well.

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