In the 1999 science fiction classic The Matrix, the film’s protagonist Neo (Keanu Reeves) is sitting opposite Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburn), the leader of the human resistance. Neo has been told that Morpheus has the answers that he seeks. Morpheus stretches out his hands and offers Neo a choice.
“You take the blue pill and the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember. All I’m offering is the truth — nothing more.”
Keen to resolve the nagging doubts he’s had for some time, Neo leans into the challenge and takes the red pill. That one decision means he now sees the world how it really is. He understands his challenges as well as the skills he needs to master to help overcome them.
When speaking to a fellow AuxinOKR coach recently I asked them to articulate what they thought was the true value of OKRs.
After a brief pause for thought they said “The value is in what it exposes. It’s a completely new mindset. A new way of looking at things. It is about challenging assumptions and arming people within an organisation with the knowledge and capability to make a meaningful difference.”
That’s incredibly powerful.
“As business leaders we often make a lot of assumptions about how things are.”
It dawned on me that OKRs are a little like the red pill. Because as business leaders we make a lot of assumptions about how things are. We assume our customers are going to like our new products or service. We assume we’ll grow more in the future than we have in the past. We assume every one of our employees understands what we are trying to achieve. We also assume there are no real roadblocks to success because if there were, we’d have picked up on them.
But is that really true?
AuxinOKR works with businesses and organisations across a wide range of sectors. No two are the same. But, in our experience, those who are seriously considering implementing OKRs have one thing in common. They have come to the realisation that something significant must change if they are to achieve the transformational outcomes they want to see.
The OKRs framework will make you look at things differently and challenge the way you think and work. Yes, it will feel a little strange, even uncomfortable at first. But, as Steven Covey said “To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you need to start doing things you’ve never done before.”
OKRs will ensure your organisation and everyone in it has one version of the truth. So, while your reality may not be as dystopian as the one Neo faces in The Matrix. As a business leader perhaps you should ask yourself the same question.
Do you want to take the blue pill or the red pill?