Born from strategy,

we are OKR enthusiasts.

How we've evolved

The OKR Group was born out of boutique management consulting firm, Step Advisory. Step Advisory supports executive management in crafting growth strategies to allocate scarce resources, driving long-term sustainable value creation. We’ve built trusted relationships with CEOs of companies large and small on their growth journeys. Our team has been driving the formulation and implementation of strategy for more than 10 years. In the process, we’ve assisted clients in a range of industries with organic growth and acquisitive growth initiatives. More specifically, through our implementation and execution offering, we specialise in goal management and project management services.

Where we are now

Our background as strategy advisers provides a unique lens to assist in the successful implementation of that strategy. The magic happens when purposeful teams operate within mindful processes, working together towards a common pursuit. There are frameworks that help with this – Objectives and Key Results is one of those frameworks. We are OKR enthusiasts but also realise that it’s not the silver bullet. We help teams work together more effectively in pursuit of their most ambitious goals, whatever it takes. We coach, we teach, we jump in and get our hands dirty. Ultimately, we help teams to fry the big fish, to focus on winning the battles that will win the war.

Paul Barker

a story from our founder

I started my career in the depths of technical actuarial work. I worked hard to get there, but I had to work even harder to stay there—there was no energy, nothing driving me forward or inspiring me to give.

Over the next few years, I slowly emerged from it, first into product development and eventually into strategy consulting. We investigated markets, crafted business cases, created value propositions, and set directions. And then we got the call…

One of our clients asked for help launching a business. We initially developed the business case for them, but they lacked the skills or capacity to get it off the ground. So over the next two years, we launched the business with them—from training call centres to renovating offices and developing a website, we did it all. And that’s where I found inspiration and energy.

And then we did it again—on a smaller scale this time, we helped another client launch a product they had been struggling to get off the ground for more than two years.

We then went to work distilling the reasons why these two projects struggled to get off the ground and why many others have similar struggles worldwide. After a few months of research and analysis, the 10 Principles of Strategy Execution emerged.

Since then, the 10 Principles have been the foundation of all our work with teams. We layer methodologies like OKRs or Agile on top of the 10 Principles as tools to make the principles relatable. When teams catch onto the principles, they start operating on a different level, which translates into value for the business as organisations gain focus, initiatives take shape and projects get launched.

Clients we’ve worked with

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The team – with the processes, clarity of thinking, capacity and energy they brought – enabled us to do things that would have been unimaginable on our own.

Rudi BothaBetterLife Group

You’ve helped us consider our portfolio of international businesses and distill it into a set of priorities, with clear accountability, setting us up to the deal of a lifetime.

Junior John NgulubeSanlam Pan Africa

The team assisted in getting us to a much better place, much faster – in the process, we've crystalised our thoughts and got them into an actionable plan for implementation.

David SmollanSmollan Group

Through following this process and the elements introduced through OKRs, we were able to find a rhythm where our meetings became cleaner, responsibilities became clearer and it's become easier to manage the priorities in the business.

Will ThorpStandard Bank ICS

The team gets down to the essence of strategy, and provides an immense amount of clarity on our focus areas. This leads to alignment in our team, helping us to look left and right without taking our eye off the ball.

Mark HassenkampThe LiveKindly Company

The team showed great insight into our business. The approach and tools utilised were very good and kept the team involved and responsive. Sessions were handled professionally and ultimately allowed for a clear, precise and executable strategy that keeps the executive team accountable for delivery

Carl De VilliersTransaction Capital

OKRs should bring about a change in mindset, not simply implement a tool. It’s a mindset of continuous progress and a focus on the most important strategic elements in the business. Don’t rush it – it’s a 5-day game, have patience and enjoy the journey.

Steve MallabyInnervation

Our OKRs helped to create the right focus, enabling effective trade-off discussions and providing the team with a clear north-star to anchor us to our most important goals and ambitions.

ITO Team MemberAbsa

We knew we needed to buckle down and focus, but we did not have the framework and communication methods to agree and align on the most important opportunities. The OKR process facilitated by Step provided the clarity, direction, and accountability that was required.

Chris BallFinch Technologies

Successful business have a disproportionate focus on the elements that will move the dial. Having an OKR practitioner on board provides an unemotional lens to create this focus, to bring clarity, and to enhance the narrative, the “why” behind the decisions that are being made.

Stanton PillayIT Master