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Stretch Objective, A Foundational Block in OKRs

Hi, Okta from Business team is here 🙋‍♀️

You may know that OKR consists of 2 components, the Objective and the Key Result.

  • Objective: the direction we want to go

  • Key Result: the progress measurement

As I'm still learning about OKR, after reading our CEO's blog here, then a question popped in my head, how optimistic should our OKRs be?

The OKR's basic rule is that if we always reach 100% then they are not optimistic enough. Optimistic objectives are important and Google’s “Ten things we know to be true” describe them directly:

We see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint. We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet them we can get further than we expected.

Optimistic objectives are also called stretch objectives. Let me explain to you what stretch objectives mean with an analogy of doing yoga. While you are doing yoga for the first time, it feels very uncomfortable, even a bit painful.

  • Yoga may be uncomfortable for beginners, you have to stretch your body but will make you feel light afterward.

  • In order to maintain a great range of movement, you must consistently stretch and train your body's flexibility. You have to try to reach a place that you know you can’t reach.

  • After doing it regularly, you may reach farther than you could if you haven’t been doing yoga. You can reach part of your body that you couldn’t reach before.

  • Although yoga will make you a bit uncomfortable at the first level, you shouldn’t strain your body muscle. You have to take your time and focus on 1% improvement.

You can read our Giftmaker's blog, Maya, who does Aerial Yoga here.

Photo by Carl Barcelo on Unsplash

How this applies to create our Objectives? When you think about my analogy, you can say those stretch objectives are objectives that:

  • Make you stretch outside your comfort zone

  • Make you go after goals that you think you can’t reach yet for now

  • Make you achieve something that you couldn’t do before

  • Should be hard but won't make you feel demotivated

Objectives are optimistic and should feel somewhat uncomfortable. Tell me in the comment section one of your personal stretch objectives ;)

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