Insights are often unveiled in casual conversations we have with clients, colleagues or friends – a point in time where both parties realise this is important stuff, and most people are struggling with it. These insights don’t wait for formal engagements – they happen over coffees and on couches. Our ‘couch coffees’ is a continuing series of posts where we’ll publish some of these insights – simple, short and sharp. They might be second nature to some; for others, they might be closer to epiphanies. For most, we hope they’re simply nudges in the right direction.

Have you found that your team’s OKRs are too broad and non-committal? You’re not alone…

We’ve recently been assisting a prominent player in the South African capital markets with formulating their OKRs.

We started where all good goal-setting begins, with the strategic vision, looking ahead to the business in ten years’ time.

For each strategic shift, we spent time with the various teams unpacking their most important priorities for the next six months and the requisite success measures, intending to drive short-term progress on the strategic shift and the overall strategic vision.

However, something we encountered when replaying one of the OKRs to the CEO, was figuring out the right “level” for our OKRs.

He challenged us that the OKR was too broad and that trying to set OKRs to holistically solve for the ten-year strategic vision would dilute the impact of our OKRs.

We’re often faced with questions from our clients about how to determine the right level to set our OKRs. Are they ambitious enough? Are they too ambitious? Are they too broad? Do they set a clear direction? Do we know what success will look like?

In our conversation, the CEO challenged the OKR for trying to solve for the vision in ten years, as opposed to driving progress and adding value in the shorter term.

This conversation reinforced just how important it is when crafting OKRs with our clients to avoid creating a laundry list of things that we have to do and instead elevate our OKRs to the things we must do that will drive impact in the short term.

In that line of thought, it’s important to remember that OKRs help translate our longer-term strategy into shorter-term goals. These shorter-term goals don’t need to solve for the end strategy, but they need to meaningfully contribute to our strategy and work towards driving it forward.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible” 

– Tony Robbins, author, coach and speaker

Setting OKRs creates visibility of our strategic vision and clarity on the next steps in the journey. What do we need to do next to drive our strategy forward and add meaningful value to our business? With an uncertain future, it’s about making impactful strides in the present and not getting side-tracked by solving for the future.

If you and your team need help elevating your OKRs to the right level, you can reach out to our team of experts here to help guide you on the path to impactful outcomes.

If you have questions, we’re always keen for coffee.

Get in touch so that we can brainstorm a few solutions together!

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