Recommended reading: Top mistakes not to do with OKR implementation
We live in times of immense uncertainty — which tends to lead to an unclear outlook on where your organization and teams are headed. Setting a sound strategy and subsequent goals to help you succeed becomes all the more difficult.
While the OKR framework may not be a solution for turbulent internal and external circumstances, it is a tool that can help provide an increased amount of certainty for organizations.
We spoke to Marco Alberti, founder and OKR coach at Murakamy about how organizations can navigate uncertainty with OKR and discussed the following:
- Is OKR a tool that can help organizations navigate internal and external instability?
- What are the benefits of using OKR during times of uncertainty?
- Why do organizations tend to abandon OKR in times of crisis? And how can organizations avoid this from happening?
- How can employees incorporate OKR into their work schedules, to stay focused but agile during times of uncertainty?
Henrik-Jan: Welcome to another episode of Goal Diggers. I’m Henrik, founder and CEO of Perdoo. Joining me today is Marco Alberti, an OKR coach and founder of Murakamy. Marco, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey with OKR so far?
Marco: Yes. So thank you for the invitation and the possibility to be here.
Yes. As you mentioned, I’m Marco, I’m the founder of Murakamy and Intuity OKR. Experience: since more than eight years now. So focusing on finding out what is the right way to manage or steer a company. So, I was in the role of Vice President in the company and the company ran out of cash.
So we have to find a solution eight years ago for a really serious problem. And I Googled a little bit and I talked to other founders and found out, okay, there is this thing called OKRs. And the only thing I could find was the Google video obviously. And, then we watched it as a team and we tried it out.
And after 10 months we had like a turnaround from let’s say 1.5 million losses to 7 million in profits and from a team with total stress to a team with yeah, totally new ideas, a different culture, the CEO was freed from all the discussions the all days long. And this was really interesting to see what happens in a company when you change a leadership principle and the leadership framework to OKRs.
And there were so many questions still unanswered. So we tried to answer them and I wrote a little bit about it on our blog — Murakamy blog. And then other companies texted us and say, Hey, you did it. Can you teach us how we can do it in our company? And this was the start of a journey.
And now we try to find out how to steer a company better. So this is still part of the journey today.
Henrik-Jan: Yeah. Eight years ago, you must have been one of the first OKR consultants out there, right?
Marco: At least in Germany, I would say. Yes.
Henrik-Jan: Yeah. The video that you refer to, I mean, I think you mean that Google ventures video, where they introduced the concept of OKR to their portfolio companies. Yeah.
Henrik-Jan: And you referred to OKR being a leadership framework. Could you explain why you think it is a leadership framework?
Marco: Yes. First of all, a short disclaimer, when I talk about OKRs, I talk about our version of it. Like it’s an interpretation, it’s a style like yoga, you have different styles.
And I think that’s the same in OKRs. So we define our framework — the Murakamy framework as a holistic framework. So it’s not for us like you have to steer the goals throughout the company. It’s not like I know what’s right. And then we have to focus on it and say, okay, we, we have to manage it through the company, make it transparent and make it happen.
For us, it’s more like a holistic framework to bring the right culture, the right structure, and the risk mitigation process in it to find out what are the right goals based on what is the vision and what is the mission. What are the strategies? And therefore we have a process developed that helps you to find out the right goals instead of managing your goals, which you already have.
So I think this is the best explanation, why we think it’s a holistic management and leadership framework and not only a tool to steer the company based on your given goals.