Elie Casamitjana, Founder and CEO of OKRmentors, recently appeared as a guest on the podcast "Dream with Deadlines" by Jenny Herald, Quantive. In this episode, Elie shared his knowledge and experiences in implementing Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), offering unique insights into the world of OKRs, their application in different cultures, the prerequisites for sustainable change, and the importance of agility and communication.
We’ve put together the key takeaways from the discussion!
Application of OKRs in Different Cultures:
The captivating aspect of cultural diversity in the implementation of OKR was one of the key topics addressed. Based on personal experiences, the crucial role of cultural differences in shaping the approach is highlighted. For example, the need to adapt workshops according to cultural tendencies is underlined. Extroverted cultures may work well with large group workshops, while introverted cultures may find smaller group discussions or individual preparation more effective. Recognising and respecting these cultural nuances is vital to engage teams and ensure the successful adoption of OKRs.
Vertical and Horizontal Approaches:
Another key element influencing strategic execution is the distinction between vertical and horizontal work cultures and their impact on the implementation of OKRs. In horizontal cultures that value autonomy and collaboration, OKRs are more naturally adopted and its roll-out is more organic. However, in more rigid, top-down cultures, resistance may arise due to established decision-making processes. To make the most of OKRs as a catalyst for team empowerment, a conscious and thoughtful implementation approach is essential.
Prerequisites for Sustainable Change:
Highlight the prerequisites for successful OKR implementation. Firstly, management must wholeheartedly embrace the OKR concept and be open to more transparency, more outcome driven thinking, more agility and more team empowerment. Without management support, implementation efforts may falter. Secondly, dedicated individuals or teams play a critical role in driving and sustaining the OKR process. They provide guidance and ensure long-term success. Lastly, it is crucial for teams to understand that OKR effectiveness takes time to develop. Engaging teams and creating a well-defined implementation plan are key to achieving sustainable change.
The Importance of Agility and Communication:
Agility and communication emerged as critical factors for OKR success. Organisations that embrace agility, adaptability, and iterative approaches thrive with OKRs. These enable teams to respond effectively to changing circumstances and make informed adjustments. Furthermore, fostering open communication channels within the organisation promotes transparency, collaboration, and alignment. Active dialogue and continuous iteration are vital for driving positive outcomes with OKRs.
Looking to the Future of OKRs:
OKRs will become an integral part of organisational practices as they gain acceptance. Elie envisions OKRs integrating with other strategy and execution frameworks and tools, supporting organisational success. Ultimately, the true measure of OKR success lies in its seamless integration into an organisation's DNA, where its presence becomes inherent and no longer needs explicit mention.
Elie Casamitjana's profound passion for strategic execution and the transformative power of OKRs were given a great platform in this podcast. He emphasises the significance of patience, flexibility, and cultural understanding in the successful implementation of OKRs. By embracing agility, promoting open communication, and meeting the necessary prerequisites, organisations can fully unleash the potential of OKRs, leading to remarkable achievements. For organisations, it also means finding the right support and expertise, and that’s why we are developing the OKRmentors collective.
Thank you Jenny Herald for the invitation. To listen to the full episode, click here.