Measure What Matters – Superpower #2: Align and Connect for Teamwork

Three watchwords for entrepreneurs:

  • Solve a problem
  • Build a simple product
  • Talk to your Users

Goals for Growth

As company scale, people need to see the CEO’s priorities and how they can align for maximum impact. And they need to see that it’s okay to make a mistake, to correct it and move on. You can’t fear screwing up.

The Same Page

Studies suggest that only 7% of employees “fully understand their company’s business strategies and what’s expected of them in order to helpĀ achieve the common goals.”

The answer lies in focused, transparent OKRs. They knit each individual’s work to team efforts, departmental projects, and the overall mission.

Cross-Functional Coordination

A Transparent OKR system, as Laszlo Bock points out, promotes freewheeling collaboration. When goals are public and visible to all, a “team of teams” can attack trouble spots wherever they surface. You kick off virtuous cycles that reinforce your ability to actually get your work done. And the management tax is zero-it’s amazing.

Measure What Matters – Superpower #1: Focus and Commit to Priorities

Measuring what matters begins with the question: What is most important for the next three (or six, or twelve) months?

Google’s mission statement: Organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

“When you’re the CEO or the founder of a company … you’ve got to say ‘This is what we’re doing’, and then you have to model it. Because if you don’t model it, no one’s going to do it.”

Communicate with Clarity

Leaders must get across the why as well as the what. “When you are tired of saying it, people are starting to hear it.”

Key Results: Care and Feeding

Objectives and key results are the yin and yang of goal setting – principle and practice, vision and execution. If an objective is well framed, three to five KRs will usually be adequate to reach it. If you’re certain you’re going to nail it, you’re probably not pushing hard enough.

What, How, When

The best practice: a parallel, dual cadence, with short-horizon OKRs (for the here and now) supporting annual OKRs and longer-term strategies.

Clear-cut time frames intensify our focus and commitment; nothing moves us forward like a deadline.

Pairing Key Results

The more ambitious the OKR, the greater the risk of overlooking a vital criterion. To safeguard quality while pushing for quantitative deliverables, one solution is to pair key results – to measure “both effect and counter-effect” e.g.Pairing Quantity Goal and Quality Goal.

The Perfect and the Good

Don’t allow the perfect to be enemy of good. Remember that an OKR can be modified or even scrapped at any point in its cycle. The “right” key results surface weeks or months after a goal is put into play. OKRs are inherently works in progress, not commandments chiseled in stone.

Less is More

As Steve Jobs understood, “Innovation means saying no to one thousand things.” The one thing and OKR system should provide par excellence is focus. This can only happen if we keep the number of objectives small.

Measure What Matters- Chapter 2. The Father of OKRs

MBO (Management by Objectives)

In 1960s had been adopted by a number of forward-thinking companies, e.g. Hewlett – Packard, which led to productivity gains of 56%.

Most common trap goals were centrally planned and sluggishly tricked down the hierarchy. Most deadly of all, MBOs were commonly tied to salaries and bonuses.

MBOsIntel OKRs
“What”“What” and “How”
AnnualQuarterly or Monthly
Private and SiloedPublic and Transparent
Top-downBottom-up or Sideways (~50%)
Tied to CompensationMostly Divorced from Compensation
Risk AverseAggressive and Aspirational

Andy Grove’s Basic OKR Hygiene

Less is more: “A few extremely well-chosen objectives, impart a clear message about what we say YES to and what we say NO to. Limit three – five OKRs per cycle lead companies.

Set goals from the bottom up: to promote engagement, teams and individuals should be encouraged to create roughly half of their own OKRs, in consultation with managers.

No dictating: OKRs are a cooperative social contract to establish priorities and define how progress will be measured.

Stay flexible: if climate has changed and an objective no longer seems practical or relevant as written, key results can be modified or even discarded mid-cycle.

Dare to fail: “Output will tend to be greater, when everybody strives for a level of achievement beyond [their] immediate grasp. Such goal setting is extremely important if what you want is peak performance from yourself and your subordinates.”

A tool, not a weapon: The OKR system is meant to pace a person – to put a stopwatch in his own hand so he can gauge his own performance. it is not a legal document upon which to base a performance review.

Be Patient; be resolute. Every process requires trial and error. An organisation may need up to four or five quarterly cycles to fully embrace the system, and even more than that to build mature goal muscle.

Measure What Matters – Chapter 1. Google, Meet OKRs

OKR is short for Objectives and Key Results.

Objective is simply WHAT is to be achieved, no more and no less. By definition, objectives are signifiant, concrete, action oriented, and (ideally) inspirational.

Key Results benchmark and monitor HOW we get to the objective. Effective KRs are specific and time-bound, aggressive yet realistic. Most of all, they are measurable and verifiable.

The dark side of goal setting could swamp any benefits, e.g.: Enron’s recklessly inflated sales targets. “WARNING! Goals may cause systematic problems in organisations due to narrowed focus, unethical behaviour, increased risk taking, decreased cooperation, and decreased motivation. Use case when applying goals in your organisation.”

The 4 OKR “superpowers”: Focus, align, track, and stretch.

Superpower #1 – Focus and Commit to Priorities: High-performance organisations home in on work that’s important, and are equally clear on what doesn’t matter.

Superpower #2 – Align and Connect for Teamwork: OKR transparency, everyone’s goals – from the CEO down are openly shared.

Superpower #3 – Track for Accountability: OKRs are driven by data.

Superpower #4 – Stretch for Amazing: OKRs motivate us to excel by doing more than we’d thought possible.

CFRs (Conversation, Feedback, Recognition) – Continuous performance management instead of annual performance reviews.

5 Questions you need to be asking in life

The author of the book “Wait, WHAT?” book, James E. Ryan, spoke about how he never stop to ask questions in life. You need to be asking the right questions. Here are the 5 questions you need to be asking in life.

  1. Wait, … what?…
  2. I wonder .. why. I wonder … if
  3. Couldn’t we at least ….
  4. How can I help …
  5. What truly matters?

Bonus questions: Did you get what you want out of this life, even so?

Try asking some of this question in you day today, and see how it effect you in a positive way.

10 Steps to Building a successful Online Course

Here are the 10 steps to building a successful online courses.

  1. Transformation journey for your audience
  2. Brainstorm the content. Use Post-it 10 – 10 Break and 10 Brainstorm
  3. Organisation of the idea
  4. Outline and sharing the outline. Kill what is not necessary
  5. Pre-sell to 20 people, why?
  6. Build the Community, e.g.: FB Group
  7. Build the course, produce the lesson
  8. Collect feedback from student
  9. Refine the course to make it great
  10. Be Confident

7 Steps to be a good Coach

Here are the 7 steps on how to be a good coach. If you are coaching someone and you want to make sure they are going to get a good outcome and you also get something in return, here are the steps that you can use.

  1. Ask them what is on their mind
  2. Then ask them what else they have in their mind
  3. Ask what is the real challenge
  4. Ask them what do they think the problem is, and what do they look to achieve
  5. How can you help them
  6. What do you say “NO” to
  7. What is the most valuable/useful from the coaching session

I hope the above will help you to be a better Coach.

Levitation

Some things happened. I am learning how to levitate. We lived next to a neighbour who is a doctor of some sort. He have a practicing room and his patient regularly visit with an exercise machine.

One day we have to borrow his place without his permission. But we clean up the place. He seems quite surprised when he got back. We tried to explain but we didn’t have a chance. We also think he speaks Indo.

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