The power of three…

Some say that three is a crowd; but we think it’s often the perfect number for the successful delivery and execution of an OKR strategy.

What do I mean by that? I refer to the combination of client, coach and software provider. At the centre of this happy trinity is a business that wants to use the OKR framework to help transform themselves; they’re supported by a coaching consultancy like AuxinOKR to help them execute their strategy, and both are working alongside a software specialist.

Working together you have a very powerful team driving in the same direction with a very clear purpose. 

The general over-arching objective is usually to help a company or organisation grow through the introduction of operational changes that align people, systems and effort to a clear pathway.

In the ideal scenario the senior management team sets the overall strategy and helped by the coach frames appropriate objectives, underpinned by measurable key results. As coaches we will challenge, shape and help refine the OKRs then guide the business to the right path; the software will provide transparency, focus and constant eye on metrics of progress and performance.

Another way to see this partnership, in terms of better understanding its strength is to compare this trinity of client, coach and software provider with that of an author, editor and publisher.

If, in this case, we compare the client to an author; they’re the person with the vision, messaging and purpose. Through their narrative and story-telling skills they are creating the ‘why and the what.’

Our role as coach in that very first phase of either introducing or resetting OKRs can be thought of as an editor; we’re helping the author/client craft and shape the messaging and narrative – we’re trying to add the ‘what and how’.

In this scenario the software provider performs a similar role to a publisher – socialising, publicising, aligning and visualising the ‘how and when’.

There is a real craft to writing and then refining a company’s OKRs; without supportive coaching this is where many people go wrong. It’s easy to confuse tasks with objectives and key results. There can be a tendency to set too many objectives.

Deeper into the project – the implementation phase – the client as author is reacting to the impact of their work and adjusting their OKRs; they’re amending and refining; verifying and testing, reworking the narrative according to the metrics provided.

At this point the coach, as ‘editor’ is encouraging, steering, and course-setting with the software provider tracking, broadcasting and signalling.

By the final stage – embedding OKRs across the organisation – the message is focussed, there’s alignment throughout (everyone is on the same page, as it were) ambition is tracking in the right direction and objectives are being met.

By Mark Richard, director of AuxinOKR, specialists in OKR coaching