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Need to focus effort in your business? | Issue #130

10 Proven Tips For Creating More Effective OKRs

You’ve probably heard of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).  You might already be using them.  Originally developed as a methodology by Andy Grove at Intel, they were made famous by Google who used them to drive their exponential growth.  Soon most of the tech firms in Silicone Valley had adopted them. 

Why? Because, very simply, they focus effort. And this is never a bad thing in busy organisations.  When we go into companies and talk to front line staff, their main complaints are that management is always starting new initiatives that never get finished.  This is usually because there are too many competing priorities. Here’s an interesting fact.  The word priority used to be singular.  It meant the very first or prior thing. Only in the 1900s was it pluralised – this was illogical.  How can multiple things be ‘most important’?

We use OKRs as our methodology of choice to help our clients prioritise their most important activities. They’re a way of bringing agile techniques out of software development and into the core business.  Rapid change and iteration are central to their success.  And they’re generally used for change initiatives that happen in tandem with business as usual.  

Over the years, we’ve seen some work better than others. Based on experience, here are our tips for creating more effective OKRs.

People, Culture & Leadership with Anouk Agussol

Anouk Agussol is the founder and CEO at Unleashed, a far-from-your-average consultancy that supports high-growth startups and scaleups to scale through all things People, Culture and Leadership.

Since founding Unleashed in 2017, Anouk and the Unleashed team of 10 have worked with over 80 high-growth startups, scale-ups, VCs and accelerators across a huge variety of sectors, ranging from 10 to 1000 people (but under 150 is their core), in UK and Europe. In 2021, they’re also heading to the East Coast US.

Their mission is to gear up businesses for speedy, sustainable and successful scaling (they love alliteration) and to create fulfilling work lives to boot. 

Deeper Than Work

Deeper Than Work is a platform dedicated to amplifying the professional experiences and stories of ambitious women of color who are on a journey to become paid and prominent corporate powerhouses. Join HR Leader and D&I expert turned Leadership & Career Development coach Dorianne St Fleur for your bi-weekly dose of real career talk and learn actionable strategies to level up in your career – no matter where you are on your journey. In addition to Dorianne’s insights, Deeper Than Work features interviews with trailblazing professional Black women, including Minda Harts, author of The Memo, Tiffany Dufu, author of Drop The Ball, and more!

A Simple Compliment Can Make a Big Difference

Establishing a positive organizational culture, one in which employees and managers support one another, should be a top priority for organizations. Expressing praise and gratitude is particularly important for keeping up morale. Gratitude makes people feel valued, and positive feedback has been shown to mitigate the negative effects of stress  on employee performance.

Developing Future-Ready Skills With Peer Coaching

The forces of disruption reshaping the future of work moved at a faster pace than ever during the past year. With the pandemic making it unsafe for many people to work in person, companies around the globe turned to remote work and accelerated the use of automation technologies such as AI and robotics. COVID-19 brought about a reallocation shock, which economists at the University of Chicago estimate has caused three new hires for every 10 layoffs. They also predict that 32% to 42% of COVID-19-related layoffs will be permanent.

Data Is Great — But It’s Not a Replacement for Talking to Customers

The ability to gather and process intimate, granular detail on a mass scale promises to uncover unimaginable relationships within a market. But does “detail” actually equate to “insight”?

The Master Coach by Gregg Thompson

Today, coaching is recognized to be one of the most effective human resource development processes available, and it is becoming increasingly popular in organizations of all sizes. Faced with historically low levels of employee engagement (as little as 13% according to Gallup’s latest survey), business leaders see coaching as key to unlocking the human talent, creativity, and innovation that is hiding in plain sight in their workplaces. And rather than bring in external coaches for this purpose, they want to integrate coaching into their company culture a 2015 study by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI) found that 81% of organizations surveyed planned to train managers/leaders in coaching skills. The Master Coach is written for these leaders, and is perfectly positioned to become the definitive book on the topic. Drawing on the wealth of experience that has made Gregg Thompson and Bluepoint Leadership Development the choice of numerous Fortune 100 companies, it illuminates the essence of what it takes to be a great coach.

Corporate Emotional Intelligence by Gareth Chick

As part of the series Leadership and Executive Coaching, Corporate Emotional Intelligence is a seminal work for business communication, management and organisational behaviour in the 21st Century, setting a new precedent for business leadership and management books. It analyses how human behaviour is conditioned within corporate cultures, how managers come to adopt unconscious controlling habits that are counter-productive and which create cultures of fear. It shows how through the art of coaching and mentoring, breaking habits and personal development, transformational leadership within teams can result and, through theory and practise, shows us how to lead when managing people in the business environment.

News from the Farm

Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop – second date announced!

Our 7th April workshop has SOLD OUT in just one day! That’s why we have opened a second day on 8th April. ONLY 6 SEATS AVAILABLE.  You and five other ambitious CEOs are invited to come and join this intimate session and leave with a strong and clear 3-year plan to achieve rapid and sustainable growth in 2021.


Stop telling your team what to do

Our tip this week is to lead with questions instead of telling people what to do.  This reminds us of our Melting Pot podcast conversation with Gareth Chick whose book we’ve also recommended above.  He coaches new SVPs at Google and observed that they’d never asked a question that they didn’t know the answer to.  They’d got to SVP level by being experts but, once there, had to accept that they no longer knew everything.  When businesses start, the founder is usually the person with the ideas who hires people to help them execute.  But as your business grows, you need people who can think for themselves. If you treat people like children, they’ll behave like children.  So move away from a parent/child relationship by asking questions and not telling.  We know this is hard as telling people what to do is probably how you’ve become successful!

Upcoming Events

Closing On Value: How To Overcome “The Price Objection” & Adapt Your Sales Strategy To Today’s Competitive Environment – 16th March

What will it take for sales professionals to excel in 2021? In this free remote training, leading sales strategist, Jeff Thull, will be showing you how to solve the biggest challenges facing enterprise sales teams this year!

Scaling Up Virtual Summit – 22nd April

Working Together” for the greater good is needed more than ever around our world as we all really know. Join top Scaling Up partners from around the globe for our second Scaling Up+ Summit of the year. These leading CEOs and Authors will share actionable insight focused on your people and culture to ensure a prosperous 2021. Outthink competition with 3 keynotes in 90 minutes.

Quote of the week

“Continuous recognition is a powerful driver of engagement”

John Doerr – Measure What Matters

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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    Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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