Expert Opinion

The use of OKRs in business

Marion Gamel has started her career as an entrepreneur, then she worked for Google and Eventbrite. After that, she has chosen to be a Chief Marketing Officer at Betsson Group. Since 2015, she has been coaching leaders around the world and she is a Registered Business Coach. In this article, Marion Gamel shares her coaching ideas, in how to make a business efficient.

The C-level executive coaches any company, whether it’s a new start-up of 5 employees, a multinational group on the stock market, digital or not, whether a product or service company, efficiency is the key ingredient.

The one tool that is able to maximise efficiency in companies, is the OKRs. In the role of executive coach, Marion Gamel encourages leaders to make changes, no matter how big or small. The changes will empower the company in order to reach its target.

About OKRs

The OKRs are not new, and not sexy either. However, when it is granted, the company’s mission or strategy will be a lot more exciting. In addition, the secret of efficiency lies in the How and not What. The OKRs was introduced to Marion in 2003 at Google and now she is using it for 15 years.

But what are OKRs? There are several definitions, but Marion’s favorite is: “Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a technique for setting and communication goals and results in organization. Its main purpose is to connect company, team and personal objectives to make sure people move together in the right direction. OKRs ensure that each individual knows what’s expected of them at work. OKRs are kept public, so teams know what others are focusing on.”

The little history that OKRs have is that they were introduced at Intel in the 70’s. Ever since then, companies like Apple, Amazon, Dell, Spotify, Twitter, Uber, Netflix and many more, use the OKR. These companies have relied for decades on the tool, in order to improve or maintain efficiency.

Not to forget about other industries as well, like the gaming industry and the casino industry. For these kind of companies, especially casino & gaming, it is trivial to have a clear objective and efficiency. Casino companies, similar to Admiral Casino, are devoted to OKRs. The tool help them maintain their objectives, like properties to be taken care of, offer the best services to the players, maintaining an online presence as well and offer the best protection. The use of OKRs gives a list of benefits for both companies and their employees.

The OKRs are structured in such a way in order to make a commitment. On the part of the casino manufacturers, they compensate their employees, by training them and treating them well. The OKRs idea is to also empower the employee. In return, the employees are committed to the company’s goal.

A company’s goal is usually pretty simple. Let’s take a casino company as an example. The operator/manufacturer/company offers some online casino games. The company’s goal is to offer the best service to its players. The strategy, delight the players with a state of the art interface on desktop and mobile devices and offer the best player experience and support. Using the OKR, will make that goal much more efficient.

Let’s not confuse the OKR by adding more work. No, the OKRs are not about adding more work. The OKR is about listing individuals commitment and key deliverables and making them public. Like this, others will know what to expect to be aware of dependencies and domina effect. This is the reality of any company and their role in it.

Last Words

The keyword in most companies is efficiency. The key step to improve efficiency is to increase the level of ownership, accountability, transparency about commitments and deliverables. The OKR is a transformational tool, because it will empower employees to understand how to fit into the domino effect. The tool brings a sense of responsibility and autonomy, even to the most junior staff.

OKR isn’t the newest tool, but it is the backbone of the world’s top companies and it is used by the most innovative startups. We are well aware that tools and processes are not the most exciting way to transform a company’s efficiency. Maybe a new company mission or strategy would feel much more glorious, but sometimes it turns out that an old tool is still the sharpest.