Being Curious Leadership & Culture

How to… do an OKR Workshop

We use OKRs to align the whole organisation towards a common strategy. Learn how we approach this topic and how to plan and execute team workshops. If you want to use OKRs as well and are looking for ideas and guidelines try the step-by-step guide and the workshop template slides.

In our professional life we are curious and trying out new things. One of them is using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) as a method to align a whole organisation on a common strategy.

What are OKRs?

OKRs are a method developed by Andy Grove and promoted by Google to set aspirational goals (Objectives) and the measurable Key Results.
By defining the Objectives and Key Results on each level in a company, the individual contribution of each team to the strategic direction becomes transparent. Being very aspirational, OKRs can help get outside of your comfort zones, try something new, fail and learn.
You need a company culture and leadership approach, which lives psychological safety and people can experiment.

When to do a team workshop?

Once the company objectives are clarified, each team can derive their Team Key Results. When the OKR approach is new to the organisation, this requires some facilitation. You need to gain understanding of the method, the culture and the change that may come with this.

One example: OKRs allow the team to imagine their own solutions to the objectives and work autonomously towards them. Working towards an aspirational objective can mean to try out something new. This requires courage, leaving your comfort zone, experimenting and maybe sometimes failing and learning. If you can transport that the leadership of your organisation supports and welcomes this approach is an important realisation.

How to do a Team Workshop

For the workshop you need about 2,5 hours. Prepare the Company Objectives and the workshop environment (depending on a remote or face-to-face situation). During the workshop, make a lot of time for interaction, enabling the team members to get familiar with the objectives and discovering the topics they would like to dedicate their time for. Finally, work out together, how to make the key results and the progress transparent. Define rituals and review times for the team to track the key results and share progress and success.

If you want to try it out, take a look at our step-by-step guide you find in Trello. You can copy the Trello template to create your own board, add or remove steps or information.

In the guide there is also the link to a Google slides presentation and team exercise slides for executing the workshop. Feel free to copy it and use it for your workshop.

2 replies on “How to… do an OKR Workshop”

Great article! From my point of view, the OKR‘s can even help creating an open and transparent culture, if the organization is ready for using it.

Dear Tatjana, yes, I agree. It opens up the ideation and solution creation to all team members, regardless of hierarchies. Everyone can contribute within his circle of influence and with improvements that they see in their environment. Bringing all this together, showing and talking about it, can create transparency about the contribution (and also the struggles) across all levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *