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What are OKRs?

Sep 25, 2023

OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) are a strategy execution tool that provides a framework to turn strategy into clear, measurable execution goals. The main idea is that through OKRs, the entire company has a simple reference of the goals you are working towards. They show the intent on where the business is trying to go, so that everyone has clarity on their focus when they step into the office in the morning.

What is the OKR methodology?

When you start working with OKRs, it is important to get the terminology right. In fact, there is more to OKRs than the O (Objectives) and the KR (Key Results).

Here is a simple overview, feel free to use and share (mention us @getpractic on linkedin and Instagram)!

What is the North Star?

It all starts with the North Star: the guiding light for your company to make any decision. It is the mission of your company. Normally, the North Star is set for a longer period of time (5+ years). After all, the reason why you exist does not change over night.

What are Objectives?

Once you have your North Star, you are ready to set clear, inspirational goals (Objectives). These goals are ment to show clear intent to the people in your team: they tell everyone in the company where you are trying to go. They are a great way to formulate your strategic goals in a simple and effective way.

What are Key Results?

Objectives are then paired with measurable outcomes (Key Results) that define if the Objective is met. They are clarifying what you meant with the qualitative terms you used in the Objective: for example “We want to make the highest quality icecream”. What do we mean with the highest quality? How can we measure that? Defining a measurable Key Result is a great way to make sure everyone has the same understanding of what “quality” means.

What are Initiatives?

Finally, you define the tasks (Initiatives) that you will execute in order to move the needle on the the Key Results. This is how you win in execution: by picking the right tasks that will bring you closer to your goals.


Who invented OKRs?

OKRs are being used in some of the biggest tech companies around the world, such as Google, Youtube & Apple. However, they were invented way before that by Intel's former CEO Andy Grove in the '70, as a finetune of the Management By Objectives model by Peter Drucker. Since then, they have been the leadership tool behind many successful companies. Nowadays, they are also the norm when it comes to management at many of the largest media companies in the world.


Are you looking to see how we can support you with the implementation of OKRs? Have a look at our OKR training & coaching programs and feel free to get in touch!