We’ve reflected on the wide range of clients we journeyed with this year. From super-banks to startup fintechs; with local NGOs and multinational conglomerates; in sectors spanning financial services, technology, energy, education, consulting, logistics and payments. And all the strategy execution journeys have been special in their own way.

It’s in the pursuit of goals that we find joy

The “specialness” of a journey comes in one of two ways.

Firstly, where successes are abundantly evident, and clients can state it explicitly. Some of the things we’ve heard from clients are:

  • “It helped create focus and provide direction amongst everything that we need to be doing.”
  • Reflect and Reset sessions have helped the team refocus on our ambitious vision and have enabled the right conversations.”
  • “We are seeing shifts in behaviour, and we are seeing sprints that are purpose-led.
  • “The process allowed us to find a seamless way of knowing where we need to get stuck in, move out and create space for other team members.”
  • “It was great to achieve the OKRs as a team instead of achieving things at an individual level.”
  • “Our strategic planning process becomes so much easier because we have a point to start from.”

These journeys are special because of their successes.

Secondly, where challenges are abundantly evident, and a clear solution isn’t. In these cases, there is a focus on the constant push for clarity (in the way we articulate OKRs), the deepening understanding of accountability (which is a privilege, not a burden), the importance of meeting regularly (and engaging in those meetings, not just reporting), the value of reflection (with learnings implemented in the next iteration), the alignment to the right strategy (if the strategy is wrong, OKRs will highlight it), the value of conversations and communication (which OKRs can facilitate).

These journeys are special because of the learnings.

“Only some of us learn from other people’s experience; the rest of us have to be the other .”

We’ve learnt. A lot. Every. Single. Week.

Effective strategy execution across borders and boundaries

Our own journey has been fun. We’ve been growing The OKR Group to realise our purpose statement of helping teams work together more effectively in pursuit of their goals.

We’ve engaged with clients or potential clients across 21 countries. We want to reach across cultural boundary lines and understand what makes people tick, irrespective of background, ethnicity, colour or country.

The results from our State of Execution assessments have been fascinating – we are starting to develop a picture from 100s of surveys around what makes strategy execution successful. The results? Creating clarity is the most difficult to get right. Employees aren’t clear about the strategy, what they need to do to contribute towards it, and how success will be measured. This is followed by (and very closely linked with) engagement – teams aren’t engaged, probably because they’re unclear on what they need to do.

The 10 principles on which the assessment is built were the starting point of our strategy execution journey and seem to have survived! We’ve recently created some fun personas for one of our clients based on the 10 principles, and we’ll have to see if the “safari guide” and the “brave navigator” also survive!

If you’d like to participate, get in touch.

Leaders are readers🙂

We journey with leaders and try to constantly produce content as a trickle to shift mindsets over time (rather than big pieces of hairy reading!).

In a single view, here’s a list of our top 10 posts for those who want to explore more:

  1. Unpacking the complexities of OKRs and alignment
  2. The neuroscience behind OKRs
  3. 10 Principles of Strategy Implementation: Increase Your Odds of Success
  4. How to run an OKR check-in meeting effectively
  5. What are OKRs? The starter’s guide in less than 500 words
  6. Strategic Direction: The Cartography of Execution
  7. Writing clear OKRs are essential to alignment and accountability
  8. OKR Software: Five fundamental questions to help you choose the right one
  9. OKRs for Impact | Achieving your ESG Goals
  10. OKRs or KPIs: Understanding the difference

We’ve hopefully sprinkled some positive OKR dust on the paths we’ve walked – some might even be seeds that will grow into mighty oaks one day. This is our hope for every engagement – that teams work together more effectively in pursuit of their most ambitious goals, creating something significant on the way.

Here’s to many more grand pursuits.

The brands we've worked with this year are beyond our wildest dreams

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