Chapter TwoPreparing for Your OKRs Journey


In the previous chapter, we used the phrase excess access. Bestselling author and researcher Marcus Buckingham coined the term to describe our current state of affairs in which we have access to literally everything, all the time.1 At home, at work, and at play, we're constantly bombarded by waves of information: news, entertainment, marketing messages—the litany of stimuli is unending. When time and attention are among our scarcest resources, one of the great challenges of early twenty-first century life is determining how to sort through the barrage, in an attempt to separate the signal from the noise.

Therefore, the first question you must answer when embarking on an OKRs implementation is simply, “Why are we going to use OKRs, and why now?” If you're unable to answer that to the satisfaction of your team, it's unlikely they'll push aside mountains of current priorities and devote the necessary commitment to make OKRs (or any type of change) successful. This is not surprising when you consider the surfeit of programs in place at most businesses of even modest scale. We recently worked with a subsidiary of an international corporation and on the first day of our work it was clear there was confusion regarding where OKRs would fit in with their already crowded performance management process. When we asked what other frameworks were in place they noted goals programs, individual performance plans, leadership ...

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