Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive.
In the fall of 1999, John Doerr met with the founders of a start-up whom he'd just given $12.5 million, the biggest investment of his career. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had amazing technology, entrepreneurial energy, and sky-high ambitions, but no real business plan. For Google to change the world (or even to survive), Page and Brin had to learn how to make tough choices on priorities while keeping their team on track. They'd have to know when to pull the plug on losing propositions, to fail fast. And they needed timely, relevant data to track their progress—to measure what mattered.
Doerr taught them about a proven approach to operating excellence: Objectives and Key Results. He had first discovered OKRs in the 1970s as an engineer at Intel, where the legendary Andy Grove ("the greatest manager of his or any era") drove the best-run company Doerr had ever seen. Later, as a venture capitalist, Doerr shared Grove's brainchild with more than fifty companies. Wherever the process was faithfully practiced, it worked.
In this goal-setting system, objectives define what we seek to achieve; key results are how those top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. Everyone's goals, from entry level to CEO, are transparent to the entire organization.
The benefits are profound. OKRs surface an organization's most important work. They focus effort and foster coordination. They keep employees on track. They link objectives across silos to unify and strengthen the entire company. Along the way, OKRs enhance workplace satisfaction and boost retention.
In Measure What Matters, Doerr shares a broad range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies, with narrators including Bono and Bill Gates, to demonstrate the focus, agility, and explosive growth that OKRs have spurred at so many great organizations. This book will help a new generation of leaders capture the same magic.
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|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
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Table of Contents
Foreword Larry Page, Alphabet CEO and Google Cofounder xi
Part 1 OKRs in Action
1 Google, Meet OKRs 3
How OKRs came to Google, and the superpowers they convey
2 The Father of OKRs 19
Andy Grove creates and inculcates a new way of structured goal setting
3 Operation Crush: An Intel Story 35
How OKRs won the microprocessor wars
4 Superpower #1: Focus and Commit to Priorities 47
OKRs help us choose what matters most
5 Focus: The Remind Story 58
Brett Kopf used OKRs to overcome attention deficit disorder
6 Commit: The Nuna Story 69
Jini Kim's personal commitment to transform health care
7 Superpower #2: Align and Connect for Teamwork 77
Public, transparent OKRs spark and strengthen collaboration.
8 Align: The MyFitnessPal Story 90
Alignment via OKRs is more challenging-and rewarding-than Mike Lee anticipated.
9 Connect: The Intuit Story 102
Atticus Tysen uses OKR transparency to fortify a software pioneer's open culture.
10 Superpower #3: Track for Accountability 113
OKRs help us monitor progress and course-correct.
11 Track: The Gates Foundation Story 126
A $20 billion start-up wields OKRs to fight devastating diseases.
12 Superpower #4: Stretch for Amazing 133
OKRs empower us to achieve the seemingly impossible.
13 Stretch: The Google Chrome Story 143
CEO Sundar Pichai uses OKRs to build the world's leading web browser.
14 Stretch: The YouTube Story 154
CEO Susan Wojcicki and an audacious billion-hour goal.
Part 2 The New World of Work
15 Continuous Performance Management: OKRs and CFRs 175
How conversations, feedback, and recognition help to achieve excellence.
16 Ditching Annual Performance Reviews: The Adobe Story 189
Adobe affirms core values with conversations and feedback.
17 Baking Better Every Day: The Zume Pizza Story 197
A robotics pioneer leverages OKRs for teamwork and leadership-and to create the perfect pizza.
18 Culture 212
OKRs catalyze culture; CFRs nourish it.
19 Culture Change: The Lumeris Story 223
Overcoming OKR resistance with a culture makeover.
20 Culture Change: Bono's ONE Campaign Story 234
The world's greatest rock star deploys OKRs to save lives in Africa.
21 The Goals to Come 245
Resource 1 Google's OKR Playbook 255
Resource 2 A Typical OKR Cycle 267
Resource 3 All Talk: Performance Conversation 269
Resource 4 In Sum 273
Resource 5 For Further Reading 281