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Vision To Victory: Crafting Strong Goals, KPIs And OKRs

By 01/09/2023January 8th, 2024No Comments

As we gear up for the upcoming year, it’s that exciting time when we start crafting the roadmaps for our personal and team achievements. Whether we’re embracing the traditional SMART objectives or diving into the world of OKRs, the key lies in not only understanding the goals but also fostering engagement and enthusiasm among our teams. Let’s dive into what constitutes a powerful vision, the role of goals and objectives, the significance of KPIs, and how it all ties into the OKR methodology.

Vision: Setting the Direction for Success

Every journey begins with a vision, guiding us towards an aspirational future. Shareholders might see visions in terms of profits, but leaders work on creating a vision that inspires everyone. Think of it like a ship’s voyage from one place to another. We want a vision that makes people want to be part of the journey. Instead of just saying we’re going to Australia, we focus on the adventure of exploring the world. This approach ensures that if we change course, we won’t need to alter our vision; we can use the same one.

Goals: Paving the Path to Achievement

Big visions are essential, but let’s face it, they can be overwhelming. That’s where goals step in – they’re like stepping stones to our grand vision. Goals chart the course, defining what needs to be accomplished to meet the timeline set for the vision. Although the vision remains constant, goals adapt according to progress, leading us closer to our objective and addressing potential detours.

Goals manifest at various levels, starting at the organisational level with shared objectives that percolate into departments. While some goals remain department-specific, others span across units. It’s crucial to recognise that any interdepartmental delivery requirements equate to shared goals.

Objectives: Bridging the Gap from Goals to Action

Objectives break down goals into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) targets. Imagine goals as the map and objectives as the instructions that show you exactly where to go. Think of objectives like little missions that get you closer to your goal. They’re not just random actions – they’re smart moves that get you where you want to be.

For instance, let’s say the goal is to reach more customers globally. Objectives become the specific things you need to do to make that happen. Like getting 28% more customers from the UK, snagging 14% from Australia, and bringing in 23% new customers from Germany and France in three months. But here’s the secret – these objectives aren’t just one-person jobs. They connect with bigger goals and even overlap with other goals. So, if a campaign to get more users also boosts your marketing and commercial goals, you’re hitting two birds with one stone.

KPIs: Gauging Health and Performance

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are like the vital signs of your business. They’re not objectives with a finish line; they’re ranges that show if your business or department is in good health.

Think of it this way – if your KPIs are within the set range, you’re on track. If they dip below or shoot above the range, it’s time to figure out why and maybe make some changes.

Everyone uses KPIs, from shareholders to C-Level execs. Shareholders often keep an eye on profit KPIs, while C-Level folks typically watch Profit, Costs, and Revenue. They might also have their own KPIs tailored to their department. For instance, a Chief Commercial Officer might track Profit, Revenue, and YOY new client growth percentage, while a Chief Customer Officer could monitor Revenue, Costs, and Customer Satisfaction.

In a nutshell, KPIs are your business’s health check. By keeping an eye on them and understanding how they differ from objectives, you can make sure everything is running smoothly.

KPIs vs Objectives: A Delicate Distinction

It’s easy to mix up KPIs and objectives, but they’re not the same thing. Objectives are your specific targets with a clear finish line. KPIs, on the other hand, give you a snapshot of how things are going. They help you check if everything is alright or if something needs your attention.

Imagine you’re in HR, and your KPI is staff attrition. A healthy range is 5-10% annually, and currently, your business is at 8%. As a KPI, this is good. HR leaders check it monthly and, since it’s green, focus elsewhere.

But, the Chief HR Officer sets a goal to reduce staff attrition to 4%. You plan Fun Fridays, rewards, management skill programs, and 360 feedback. They aim to achieve these throughout the year.

Throughout the year, HR views attrition with two mindsets. KPI-wise, they’re happy at 8%, within the 5-10% range. Goal-wise, they’re striving for 4% from their 8% starting point. If still at 8%, they’re content KPI-wise but not goal-wise.

Year-end outcomes:

  • They reach their goal. Goal-wise, they celebrate. KPI-wise, they must assess whether 4% is sustainable. If yes, adjust next year’s KPI; if not, keep the same.
  • They miss their goal but are under 10%. Goal-wise, they fell short. KPI-wise, they’re still in the healthy range.
  • They miss their goal, and attrition is over 10%. Both KPI and goal-wise, they failed. They must understand why and investigate further. They need immediate action if the issue is unique to them or adjust their KPI range if it’s industry-wide.

The OKR Methodology: Bridging Ambition and Implementation

The OKR (Objectives and Key Results) Methodology is a powerful tool for goal setting and tracking progress. Simply put, objectives have a finish line, known as key results (KRs). This lets teams and people come up with ideas to reach the objectives, making them feel in control.

MadeYou’s co-founder Luke Todd is a big fan of the methodology, calling it “empowering.” But not many companies use OKRs properly. In fact, OKRs can be misused or overused, leading to ineffective goal-setting.

To help explain OKRs, Luke Todd introduced the term GKR (Goals and Key Results). Instead of thinking about Objectives and Key Results, Luke suggests visualising a Goal with a Key Result endpoint. With GKRs, we set a Goal with a Key Result endpoint. Individuals or teams then create objectives to meet those GKRs.

As leaders and managers, we need to be careful with GKRs. While they can be linked to larger goals, there’s a point where only key initiatives or objectives remain. If we’re not empowering teams to create their own initiatives, the OKR methodology stops applying, and we should just set specific objectives that link to wider GKRs.

Companies like Google and AirBnB have successfully used OKRs to improve business performance and employee engagement. However, many smaller businesses have adopted OKRs without proper training, which can leave staff feeling confused and frustrated.

Unveiling the Seven Types of OKRs

Within the realm of OKRs, seven distinct types emerge, each tailored to different organisational needs:

1. Company-Wide
2. Departmental
3. Team
4. Personal
5. Stretch
6. Continuous
7. Campaign

But don’t go throwing all of them at one team or person. Instead, think about what suits their role and how it can make the most impact on the business. Keep in mind that the whole point of this method is to empower the OKR team or owner to come up with their own ideas, not just spoon-feed them directions. So, if you’re in a “just tell” situation, then maybe it’s best to avoid OKRs there too.

Boosting Business Success with Cross-Functional OKR Teams

Creating teams that cut across functions works wonders for businesses. These teams share the same goal and key result. They’re made up of people from various departments who brainstorm their initiatives and objectives as a collective, all aimed at hitting that key result. This approach fosters collaboration and ensures things actually get done.

A Balancing Act: Making It All Work

As you dive into this world of strategy, remember these key points:

  • Vision and Goals: Your vision leads to goals, which lead to objectives, but these are not linked to KPIs.
  • KPIs and Vision: KPIs measure health, but they’re not part of objectives.
  • KPIs and Objectives: KPIs show the big picture, while objectives focus on steps.
  • Finding Balance: Too many goals can clutter things up. Keep it clear and focused.
  • Personal Touch: Don’t forget personal goals— they help your team grow.

Crafting Your Success Story

In the intricate world of business strategy, remember, success isn’t just about hitting targets. It’s all about working together, keeping things clear, and being ready to adapt. We’ve delved into vision, goals, objectives, KPIs, and the game-changing OKR methodology, revealing a well-rounded plan for winning in the strategic game and ensuring steady progress. KPIs provide vital signs, offering insights into the overall health and performance of the organisation.

Keeping everything in balance is key—mixing vision, goals, objectives, and personal growth to create a thriving business. But here’s a reality check: failing to find that balance can take a toll on your organisation’s success.

As leaders, it’s up to us to steer the ship through the ever-changing waters. Remember, strategy isn’t set in stone. It grows and shifts with your organisation. It’s all about sharing a vision, collaborating, and being ready to change tack.

Ready to revamp your strategy? Let’s do it together. Just fill out the form below, and we’ll work together to pave your way to success. This is your chance to create a strategy that not only hits those goals but also fosters growth, innovation, and lasting victory!

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