Setting goals is not enough - Set engaging goals to bring your organization to the next level
Setting goals is not enough - Set engaging goals to bring your organization to the next level
Ever wondered how big companies have made it so big? What is it about their methods of goal setting that keeps everyone so involved and striving to achieve success in the same direction? Explore OKRs and their special something that engages everyone in the organization to work more motivated and more efficiently.
Alexandru Bogdan
5 min. read
Setting goals is not enough - Set engaging goals to bring your organization to the next level

Do you know that miserable feeling you get when you go over some goals set with great intentions but that just feel like they are taken out of context? Yes, that happened to us too. And the worst part of that it's how it can affect the motivation to achieve them. It must be something about goal setting that needs to be addressed. Especially at the company level.




How can those big corporations make it so big? Are they numb to these feelings? How do their employees feel about the company that pushed everything so far ahead?

 

Usually driven by growth and cemented by unclear and secretive processes, some companies realized some harsh truths. 


Lower engagement driven by a lack of communication drastically reduces speed of actions.


A need for a change in that sense was prominent. Thus, goal setting became more than just some shiny milestones hoping to be achieved by the EOY. They realized that people need to feel those goals are their goals. How? By having them involved in the process and clearly communicating why and what the company is trying to achieve.



One of those who got engaging goal setting right is Andrew Grove, Executive Vicepresident at Intel, also known as ‘The Father of OKRs’. 


That was back in the 70s when Intel made great use of OKRs during Operation Crush.

They got a nine-part program approved together with a multi-million dollar campaign within two weeks. 


Frankly, they crushed Motorola in such a manner that their manager publicly said, ‘I couldn’t get a plane ticket from Chicago to Arizona approved in the time you took to launch your campaign.’

How did that happen? Through internal goal alignment working in the same direction.



Methods like OKRs or NCTs are not new to the table, but what's new for each individual and company is finding out what exactly suits their current organization depending a lot on their decision-making powers within the organization. 


These methods frequently seem applicable only as a company-wide approach but what if I told you you can apply these methods at a smaller scale too? 


Take departments for example - they’re like a smaller organization within a big organization. Why wouldn’t you be able to apply these methods?


Well, since you’re here, chances are you might as well have exactly what it takes for you to break the ice and use your courage to get smart about the success of your team. 





How OK are these OKRs?


Ok, so, OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. At a company-level application, this method highlights the harmony of smaller goals with the big directions set at an executive level for the entire organization. 


Do you know your company’s strategy?


Don’t be very surprised if you don't know for sure. Even CEOs and founders might have a hard time with this.



 ‘[...] What we found is that in only about 40% of the cases did the average employee in the average company – not even the worst company– say that they had any idea about what the strategy and its key objectives were.’ 


Harvard Business Review


But make sure you’ll get those concepts as sharp as possible, as soon as possible. 




Now, think from the CEO's mind.

Think about the goals and strategic direction of the company you’re leading. 

You are the driver of every driver in the company. If for you, as the CEO the way in which goals and their key results support the company direction is unclear, given that you’re close to them, how does it feel for your people who don’t participate in the positioning meetings you’re usually in?




Switch to thinking as a regular employee now.

You have some metrics/targets/goals set for you by the manager but have never gotten the chance to see the bigger picture. The view from above of what your work strives towards was probability explained once by your direct manager. You put in the time and effort every single day, but when you’re thinking about why you're doing what you’re doing, it usually comes down to: ‘because that’s how things want to be done around there’.


As a manager, founder, CEO, or Team Lead, do yourself a favor and change the way your people feel about their mission within the company because:




Unclear goals topped the list of causes of workplace stress, according to 41% of employees.’

 Harvard Business Review


Stressed employees won’t make it to the finals of your business’ marathon. So let’s see how this can change for the better. 





Engaging goals nurture a sense of meaning and purpose within your employees’ hearts


Were you to choose, which one of the following would you resonate most with: 



  1. Getting clear tasks coming from management who, when asked why they’d respond: ‘Because that’s the way we’ve been asked to’ or
  2. Checking in with your mutually set goals every now and then to see how much you contribute to a bigger goal shared across multiple stakeholders within the company.


For multiple reasons, I’ll presume and hope you’d go for the second option. 

 

The ‘Why am I doing what I am doing?’ is something that everybody asks themselves every once in a while. (hopefully everybody) 



Having a method where each individual can feel part of a goal that is not left in thin air but as a part of a greater scheme of things just like within a bee’s nest is what makes a greater effect both internally and externally. 


OKRs are not a substitute for strategy, they are a very very good friend. Dive into this to better understand what is an OKR, and here to get a better perspective on why would one use OKRs in their business methodology.


This is just a brief overview of what we discussed over the last weekend as I’ve held a presentation within the Transilvania Executive Education (TEE) module of Strategy and Value creation



TEE brought together forward-thinking Executive MBA Students working within diverse industries such as:  


  • Banking
  • Accounting
  • IT & Services  
  • Mechanical or Industrial Engineering
  • Oil & Energy
  • Aviation & Aerospace Engineering
  • Package/Freight Delivery


Congratulations, TEE, for putting together and supporting forward-thinking initiatives that are bold enough to change the way people perceive Business. Thank you, Ovidiu for being so close to Linnify and for the invitation to support the future of business.  


We’ll tackle more about the methodology of setting engaging goals in a future article. Until next time, I will leave you with a gem in the business literature - Measure what matters by John Doerr.


Here at Linnify, we have been using the OKR methodology to bring multiple advantages and benefits for the company and for each Linnifian. To name just a few, we are talking about alignment/harmony, transparency, empowerment, accountability, and prioritization. 


Stay tuned for more information in our future articles.

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