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The OKR Goal Setting Framework – What Is It And How Can You Use it

The OKR Goal Setting Framework – What Is It And How Can You Use it

Positioning a family business for growth isn’t easy. It takes a combination of knowledge, skill, and focus at all levels.

Leaders have the hard task of getting everyone aligned with the big picture vision of the family business To do that, every person in a leadership position needs a good blueprint or plan. Some frameworks excel in this particular area more than others, and the OKR is a great example.

Don’t forget growth doesn’t mean anything overwhelming or overbearing – it can (and should) mean how to improve your business gradually without huge expansion plans. Let’s take a look at the finer points fo the OKR framework.

What Is the OKR Framework?

The OKR (objectives and key results) framework revolves around setting ambitious goals that you can track over a quarter. It helps family businesses establish and reach more difficult objectives in shorter periods of time.

Although created in the early 70s, it was John Doerr, one of Google’s earliest investors, who made it famous in the 90s. And to this day, the tech giant still relies on the OKR framework for setting future targets.

In the book “Traction” by Gino Wickman, OKR’s are called ‘Rocks’. Everyone in the wider management team are tasked with working towards quarterly rocks, all of which are designed to achieve certain objectives and/or overcome identified issues and obstacles.

Benefits of the Framework

One of the biggest appeals of the OKR framework is its ease of use and implementation. It’s a framework that allows for transparency and helps shift the focus on the right objectives or obstacles that need moving.

Family business owners and leadership experts also prefer it as it has minimal impact on company culture and can boost employee productivity.

How to Set an OKR Framework

This framework has a simple five-step process from start to finish:

  • Introducing the concept to the team
  • Identifying objectives
  • Identifying desirable results
  • Analysis and review
  • Feedback

It all starts with explaining to the team the core concept of the OKR framework. The results may be hard to hit, but that’s not a problem as long as you can track progress towards them.

After that, it’s critical to go through a brainstorming process. Look at the family business objectives and discuss with team members to find aspirational objectives which align with the company goals. The hardest part is usually identifying the key results. However, it’s essential to determine the measurable outcomes and look at the results instead of the actual tasks.

As an example, if increasing profits by 10% is the objective, the key results that align with that goal could be cutting back on expenses or launching seasonal campaigns and promotions to double revenue.

The review and analysis stage is where you can get a better understanding of the key results. If you find them too easy to reach, by all means, go ahead and tweak them. After all, the idea of OKR is to come up with ambitious goals that aren’t easy or comfortable to reach.

The OKR framework also calls for feedback. Transparent communication between those involved with the execution of the plan is vital.

The End Result

The OKR framework does four things for a family business:

  • Helps measure performance
  • Aligns employee interests with company goals
  • Offers quality feedback
  • Delivers results

This makes it one of the best ways to position a family business for growth. It places the focus on the right objectives on the part of both leadership and employees.

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