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Navigating Individual OKR

Happy Midweek All! Amanda here from the think team.

In my last blog about the backlash of procrastination, many gift makers shared their experiences that are very relatable, like how urgent tasks just become distractions that prolonged into mismanagement. Interestingly, some gift makers also mentioned how inner motivation and visualization play a big role in preventing procrastination – and I am exactly on the same boat! Since the beginning of August, our team has been cooking our OKR formula for the rest of 2021. Although this process may take a while, I can already feel the difference in my inner motivation. Having a better visualization of how my daily task actually contributes to the vision of the company gave me a different perspective on procrastination. My procrastinated tasks used to keep me up all night but rather than finishing I felt like running on a hamster wheel – thinking I could not move forward because of where I was. Now, I start to see that my procrastination is not me being stuck, it is a redirection. I think (or at least I’d like to think) that I have some intuition that leads me to do more urgent/unplanned tasks than the other ones that I have planned because deep down I know it relates to our Team OKR.

As we have half-baked our OKR (we are at team objectives now ;)), I see that my unplanned tasks are in line with the Objectives we just created. It gave me peace of mind for while… up until I was preparing activities to create individual OKR for the team… Questions start popping up in my brain. how do I make a concrete and aspirational objective at the same time – collaboratively? How can I translate my somewhat aligned task and the team objective?

So, how do we create an individual OKR?

Referring to John Doerr’s book, Measure What Matters, OKR superpowers require focus and commitment to make a real difference. Each one of us needs to zoom in to focus on what measurable objective will contribute to team OKR, and zoom out to see how can we commit to high-effort, high-risk goals to extend the values of the company and stay motivated. As an example of how to create them, Google divides its OKR into two categories :

- Committed objectives which are tied to Google metrics (i.e. product release, booking, hiring, sales revenue goals) and to be achieved at 100%

- Aspirational (stretch) objectives that reflect the bigger picture, higher risk, and visionary ideas. Doerr states that by definition, stretch objectives are challenging to achieve and aim to mobilize the entire organization. 40% failure at an average was part of Google OKR territory. You may also read examples from one of our amazing giftmaker blog on stretch objective here :)

Whichever type of objective One chose is relative to company culture, as long as it is trackable it should work. When creating individual OKR, we must ask ourselves, What type of company do we need and want to be in the coming year? Doerr raises some interesting scenarios about the Google case, we can start by asking whether we want to be “Agile and daring to crack new market – or more conservative and operational, to firm up our existing position? Are we in survival mode, or is the cash on hand to bet big for a big reward? What does our business require, right now?”

Let’s find out during our next activity! What questions do you ask yourselves when you make personal or team objectives? #Be

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