Reactive Stack

Book Reviews

Measure What Matters

By Benoit Tremblay - Published 2018/8/1

Measure What Matters is yet another book about goal-settings, but is certainly a must-read. The OKRs, the principle the book is teaching, has an impressive track record of being battle-tested by some of the biggest companies like Intel, Google and the Gate Foundation or by growing startup of any size.

John Doerr, the author of the book and a venture capitalist, brought the method to many companies, including a small one he invested $11.8 million for 12% at the start named Google. John is teaching with a lot of interesting anecdotes from his own experience. Originally learned from Andy Groove working at Intel, he perfected it and wrote a detailed receipt to replicate his success.

OKR stands for Objective and Key Results. The objective is all about “What are you trying to accomplish?”. It gives a clear purpose, a clearness, to the whole organization on what the destination is and aligns everyone to get there. The key results on another hand is about “how do we measure progress toward that objective?”. It forces you to have a non-biased way to look at your objective and know if you are doing the right things or not. They have to be measured and at the end of the OKR, it is clear if they are accomplish or not. There is no gray zone. Most companies set OKRs on a quarter-basis for short-term goals and yearly-basis for long-term goals, but start-ups can choose a monthly-basis.

Just setting goals isn’t enough though. There is four superpowers that comes with the OKRs and you must follow them to have success. The first superpower is “Focus and Commit to Priorities”. You must have a laser-like focus on a few priorities. You should not have more than three to five objectives in a quarter and about five key results each, otherwise it will be very difficult to stay focused on what matters. The second superpower is “Align and Connect for Teamwork”. The OKRs of everyone should be made public, even for the CEO so that everyone can align horizontally and vertically with people that have the same goals. You should also allow a large portion (maybe 50%) of the OKRs to come bottom-up instead of top-down. The third superpower is “Track for Accountability”. Make sure they are not only wishes, but you are keeping track of the progress at least weekly. The fourth and final superpower is “Stretch for Amazing”. Make sure you do not only go for goals that you know you can accomplish but also after big hairy goals that scare the hell out of you.

Learn More About OKRs

If you would like to learn more about OKRs and purchase the book, you can go to www.whatmatters.com.

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