High-growth companies tend to have one thing in common—they set clear goals that allow the entire organization to move in the same direction with alignment.
While it's easier said than done, there's one surefire way to achieve the razor-sharp focus that aids in goal-setting: a growth-based OKR framework. Not only are they simple, agile, and user-friendly, but they are also known to bridge the 'strategy-execution gap’.
Simply put, if a company is unable to achieve 90% of its strategic targets annually then there’s a strategy-execution gap. This is where you need a better strategy and then align your purpose with the strategy and decisions.
And a right framework helps you enormously to accelerate this alignment that further boosts business performance.
What is a growth-based OKR framework?
In a growth-based OKR framework, organizations set objectives that focus on achieving sustainable growth. The key difference between a growth-based OKR framework and other OKR frameworks is the emphasis on long-term planning and goal setting.
Growth-based OKRs often focus on objectives such as expanding the customer base, increasing market share, or launching new products and services. These objectives are designed to help organizations achieve sustainable growth and build long-term value.
If you are interested in implementing a growth-based OKR framework, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Growth-based OKRs should be aligned with the company's strategy.
- They should be achievable and measurable.
- They should be reviewed and updated regularly.
Benefits of a growth-based OKR framework
When it comes to setting and achieving business goals, the OKR framework is hard to beat. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) provide a simple yet powerful way to keep everyone aligned and focused on the most important things, and they can be used by businesses of all sizes in any industry.
There are many benefits of using a growth-based OKR framework, but here are 11 of the most important ones:
1. Increased clarity and focus – When everyone in the organization is working towards the same objectives, it leads to greatr clarity and focus. This can help to improve overall productivity and efficiency.
2. Improved alignment and communication – It becomes easier to align everyone's activities and communicate with them effectively. This leads to fewer misunderstandings and miscommunications.
3. Enhanced team and individual performance – As there will be cross-functional collaboration, it provides a clear way to measure and track progress, which can help to boost team and individual performance.
4. Greater agility and adaptability – It is flexible enough to accommodate changes in direction, which helps organizations to be more agile and adaptable.
5. Increased transparency and accountability – It creates a culture of transparency and accountability, which can help to improve decision-making and prevent waste.
6. Enhanced employee engagement and satisfaction – When employees are given a straightforward way to contribute to the organization's success, they are more likely to be engaged and satisfied with their work.
7. Increased innovation and creativity – The OKR framework encourages out-of-the-box thinking and allows for experimentation, leading to increased innovation and creativity.
8. Improved financial results – The focus on achieving objectives and key results can help to improve an organization's financial performance.
9. Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty – When businesses can achieve their objectives, it leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
10. Enhanced brand reputation and competitive advantage – Achieving objectives can help to enhance an organization's brand reputation and give them a competitive edge.
11. Increased shareholder value – The focus on achieving objectives and key results can also help to increase shareholder value.
So how do you use OKRs to scale for growth?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to how to use OKRs to scale for growth. Every organization is different, and what works for one might not work for another. However, some general principles can be applied to most businesses.
1. Define what you want to achieve
The first step is to define what you want to achieve with your OKRs. What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? What does success look like?
Answering these questions will help you create objectives that are aligned with your company's strategy. Without a clear understanding of what you're trying to achieve, it will be challenging to develop effective OKRs.
2. Set realistic objectives
Once you know what you want to achieve, you must set realistic objectives. Your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
If your objectives are too broad or too vague, it won't be easy to track your progress. On the other hand, if your objectives are too specific or too ambitious, you may become discouraged if you don't meet them.
3. Create a timeline
Creating a timeline for your OKRs is important for two reasons. First, it will help you stay on track and ensure that you're making progress. Second, it will help you measure your success.
If you don't create a timeline, it will be difficult to tell if you're on track or not. Without a timeline, setting deadlines for each objective may also be difficult.
4. Assign responsibility
It's important to assign responsibility for each objective. Who will be responsible for achieving it? Who will be accountable if it's not achieved?
Assigning responsibility will help ensure that each objective is given the attention it deserves. It will also help prevent confusion about who is responsible for what.
5. Track your progress
Tracking your progress is essential for two reasons. First, it will help you stay on track and make sure you're making progress. Second, it will help you measure your success.
If you don't track your progress, it will be difficult to tell if you're on track or not. Without tracking your progress, you may also find it difficult to set deadlines for each objective.
OKRs can be a helpful tool for scaling your business for growth. By following these tips, you can ensure that your OKRs are effective and help you achieve your goals.
OKR Examples to Accelerate Business Growth
For the uninitiated, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a goal-setting framework that helps organizations strategically align their goals with transparency at all levels. We've compiled a list of them here to help you frame specific OKRs for your teams and organization as a whole.
Sales teams, by definition, are driven by metrics. It's understood that their targets are directly tied to the organization's bottom line. So, how can OKRs help them? The correct answer is: that it helps them align their strategy with what the Product and Marketing teams are doing. This is when they can be the most effective.
Objective: Increase recurring revenues.
- Reach monthly recurring revenue ($ MRR) of $250k.
- Increase the share of monthly subscriptions vs. one-time contracts sold to 85%.
- Increase average subscription size to at least $295 per month
Objective: Achieve record revenues while increasing profitability.
- Hit quarterly revenue of over $100k.
- Start sales in 2 new countries and achieve first quarter revenues totaling over $100k.
- Increase gross profit % margin from 23% to 54%.
More often than not, marketing teams have their budgets set in advance. By using OKRs, these teams can streamline their focus and target big boulders or projects to tackle in the coming months.
Objective: Clarify product messaging to attract relevant customers.
- Update the content of the website and digital channels before Q2.
- Run four weekly ads in Q2 and measure performance.
- Attract 300 MQLs in Q2.
Objective: Grow digital presence.
- Increase LinkedIn followers to 180K.
- Manage the website to have a Google SERP ranking within 10.
- Increase the website traffic to 20,000 monthly visitors.
When Andy Grove first introduced OKRs at Intel, he brought the nuts-and-bolts approach from engineering to the structure of OKRs. As the natural sum of their parts, OKRs for engineering looks like an expanded view of a diagram.
Objective: Drive platform stability and speed.
- Maintain a 99% uptime.
- Reduce the time taken to load a page: <0.5s.
- Reduce the number of bugs created per feature: by 50%.
Objective: Offer seamless, integrated, and inclusive UX.
- 100% plugin coverage across mobile apps, Slack, MS Teams, and Chrome.
- Increase new language support to 10 in Q2.
- Update 100% features for visual impairment accessibility: in Q2
Product teams strive to help users get the most out of the product. They go about this by identifying what the customer needs and delivering the right capabilities through their products. So, their OKRs have to reflect these values.
Successfully launch version 3 of our main product
- Get over 10,000 new signups.
- Achieve a signup to trial percentage ratio of over 25%.
- Achieve a trial-to-paid percentage ratio of over 50%.
Research, analyze & understand what users and non-users really think.
- Sales team to conduct 50 phone interviews with key accounts.
- Support team to conduct 50 phone interviews with churned accounts.
- Product management to interview 25 external team leaders (non-users).
Designers work closely with Product, Engineering, Marketing, and Sales teams. It's safe to say that they work on all aspects of a user's journey. An OKR framework can not only help designers collaborate better, but it can also bring consistency across experiences.
Objective: Redesign the new landing page.
- Test existing landing pages on external users to understand issues.
- Conduct stakeholder interviews with ten people from Sales and Marketing.
- Design a new version of our site structure, navigation, and all pages.
- User-test page prototypes on 12 people.
Objective: Become a design-driven company.
- Establish a set of live brand and design guides and assets, as PDF and online.
- Set a budget for design software, online presence accounts (like Dribbble), and premium resources that make no sense to create ourselves (mockup templates, wireframe kits, stock photos, and illustrations).
- Run at least one design sprint.
Customer success teams ensure that users are well looked after and continue having positive brand experiences.
Objective: Ensure that all customers understand the value of Q1 feature releases.
- 95% of clients are aware and use new features within 30 days.
- Increase weekly active users to 20m.
- Launch e-engagement messages for seven customer lifecycle touchpoints.
Objective: Retain customers, and reduce churn where factors are in our control.
- Run post-engagement debriefs for contracts above $55K of valuation.
- Attain an NPS of 70.
- Get an average annualized customer retention of 86%.
People and Culture
It's well established that building a great team enables people to do their best work. For the People and Culture team, improving the employee experience is a big part of their OKRs.
Objective: Build a workplace people LOVE to work at.
- Attain an employee NPS of 85%.
- Launch an advanced D&E inclusion program in Q2.
- Increase company diversity from x% to y% to better reflect the local community that we serve.
Objective: Drive a continuous performance and goal-setting culture.
- 100% implementation of the company's OKR program in Q2
- Reduce department-level OKR review and prep time from 14 to 5 days
- 100% of employees are scheduled for OKRs refresher workshops with OKR Champions.
P.S. If you want to simplify your company's goal-tracking or setting process, check out Mesh. We've automated check-in reminders, made it easy to schedule 1:1s and set agendas, have set continuous feedback loops, and created sliced and diced versions of data analytics to help you make the whole experience more collaborative. Interested in learning more about OKRs? Check out our Ultimate OKR Guide.