Uld really think about what tech they can se to make sure OKR adoption succeeds in the business John fails to disclose at least during that chapter that he in fact is an investor in BetterWorks The book basically feels like a 280 page whitepaper written to desperately try to help BetterWorks get salesIf you want to learn about OKRs and how they work there s a great 50 minute YouTube video by Google about how they Understanding Yandere Lovers use them Save yourself the money and time and watch that instead This is the first time I have felt compelled to review one of the hundreds of books I have readJohn Doerr philosophy of Ideas are easy Execution is Everything is interwoven throughout this the book This is a reassuring theme of other books and I remembered this idea being put forward in Sir Ronald Cohen s A great introduction to the origins of OKRs followed by many examples of how companies and a nonprofitsed OKRs to improve organizational effectivenessFor some weird reasons I did not enjoy reading the examples very much Probably because of a mismatch between the book title and my expectationsI was expecting of a guide to defining great OKRs within an organization of a handbook or practical best practices kind of resource Such as how do you define KRs for a software development product How do you balance between top down and bottom Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand up ideas in the OKRs definition process EtcIn the end I felt that some of the examples especially the OKRs in some of the examples were lacking in terms of practical details They were like stories to demonstrate the versatility of OKRs And some of the KRs did not seem very measurable to meThe resources at the end wassefulOverall I felt that the book could have been concise and the resources at the end could be elaborated This entire book is a sales pitch for a method of managing by objectives MBO There are many good points and some great examples but the book just drags on and on I feel like the book could have been 13 the size and not lost anything Some of the history of Intel and other companies was interesting to read especially since those stories were told by the people that lived them There were valuable explanations for what goes wrong with certain types of top down objectives and how to set p objectives that are measurable make people accountable and help keep people aligned One area I was hoping to see but didn t was an exploration of what a measurement is In short any time you ask about something or talk about something you are measuring it In other words there is formal and informal measurement Another topic I was hoping to see was the odd phenomena of that which is measured improves I have found that even when there is no significant reward and there is no significant punishment for meeting a particular metric the mere act of measuring it regularly and giving that measurement visibility will still cause it to improve The book talks about the importance of objectives being visible but it is also important to ke. G propositions to fail fast And they needed timely relevant data to track their progressto measure what matteredDoerr taught them about a proven approach to operating excellence Objectives and Key Results He had first discovered OKRs in the 1970s as an engineer at Intel where the legendary Andy Grove the greatest manager of his or any era drove the best run company Doerr had ever seen Later as a venture capitalist Doerr shared Groves brainchild with than fifty companies Wherever the process was faithfully practiced it workedIn this goal setting system objectives define what we seek to achieve; key results are how those top priority goals will be attained with specific measurable actions within a set.
I ve worked on the Google campus for 11 years and have seen first hand the impact OKRs have had on the company John Doerr is single handedly responsible for bringing OKRs to Google He saw before anyone else the transformative power Andy Grove s system from Intel could have at Google and this book is a great window into those early days John does a great job showing how that early presentation at Google set the stage for so much of the growth and success that came laterSome of the best parts of the book are the mini case studies from a variety of companies One of the biggest complaints I hear from founders about OKRs is that it works for Google because well Google is Google By letting you hear from founders in their own words from small startups to fast growth startups to non profits John makes it easy for the reader to model how OKRs could work at their company It s not just Google Doerr shows how any ambitious outcome oriented organization can benefit from implementing OKRsAnyone who wants to nderstand what makes Silicon Valley tick will learn a lot from this book So many of the giants from the last fifty years are captured in these pages as relayed by John their commitment and ambition shine through John makes clear that they also shared an embrace of a simple framework for setting goals and communicating throughout their organization which should be encouraging for any founder who wants to know how to build similarly effective organizationsDisclaimer a brief anecdote involving me is included in the book I didn t tell John I was writing this review ahead of time I bought the book last night and wanted to share my thoughts So I already knew about OKRs before getting this book Our organisation tried to implement them a few years ago and failed I was hoping this book would shed some light on how to create implement and measure OKRs efficiently in a small business such as oursSadly the book fails to go into any depth about how to make the most important phase implementation possible There are also 2 concerns which really calls into estion the practicalness and authenticity of the book1 John recommends that we separate OKRs from employee compensationbonuses That s fine I m willing to give that a shot But doesn t actually say what a practical alternative approach should actually be He mentions that instead of combining performance reviews goals and bonuses into one group they should be 3 separate groups performance reviews feedback sessions goals OKRs bonuses bonuses which form part of your judgement on whether to give bonuses or not effectively taking the hard facts out of how compensation is given and making it based on opinion Exactly why he says later in the book that annual performance reviews don t work because they re based on opinion2 The alarming issue is that towards the end of the book John very coyly mentions that BetterWorks software is helping companies adopt the OKR methodology effectively and that organisations sho. #1 New York TimesBestsellerLegendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal setting system of Objectives and Key Results OKRs has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growthand how it can help any organization thrive In the fall of 1999 John Doerr met with the founders of a start p whom hed just given 125 million the biggest investment of his career Larry Page and Sergey Brin had amazing technology entrepreneurial energy and sky high ambitions but no real business plan For Google to change the world or even to survive Page and Brin had to learn how to make tough choices on priorities while keeping their team on track Theyd have to know when to pull the plug on losin.
Ep everyones progress visible One particular gem Why the Intel 8086 processor architecture won over the superior Motorola 68000 I lived through that period in tech history and the book s first hand description from an Intel executive exactly matched what I recall as a desktop computer designer The book starts promisingly Although OKR concepts are Leaders Eat Last uite well knownnder different guises and Intel hadn t had such a great reputation as a place to work even when Andy Grove was the CEO there are some interesting ideas in the first few pages Unfortunately the book goes downhill with increasingly sugary language BTW we learn in the book that Intel the great champion of OKRs was beaten by a start La muralla verde up that supposedly didn tse OKR methodology I ll summarize the book1Set goal Objective2Set tasks to achieve this goal key results3Make the tasks measurableThis is the OKRThere Saved you a few hoursInterseting stories about some successful companies other than that I got very little out of this As a long time management scholar 34 years in academia I have to say that this is one of the best books on management I have ever read A great deal of nonsense and hype has been written about organizational leadership But Doerr gets right to the core issue given that you have The New Competition useful ideas how do you actually get them implemented He goes into enormous detail about these of the OKR s Objectives and Key Results which he introduced to Google He gives numerous examples of how they should be Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution by Francis Wayland and Richard Fuller used to achieve success Many case studies are described but the key point is that Doerr is not a one narrow techniue hey goals are good guru Rather he induces a set of principles that should be followed in these of OKR s if success is to be attained He first learned of this method at Intel and then shared his idea with than 50 companies He has worked both as an executive and a venture capitalist He is firmly tied to the real world of business If you want to know how to lead successfully this should be your starting point OKR Objectiveskey results are Mini Habits for Weight Loss: Stop Dieting. Form New Habits. Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering. uite obvious and easily explained in a short blog postThe book basically just says prioritize take care of goal conflicts have some safe some stretch and limit your goalsNone of the stories tell what problem OKRs actually solved how the right OKRs where found and if OKRs made a difference at all The book does neither give a framework nor an actionable approach to triage the right things to measureIf the objective of this book is to help peopletilizing OKRs in practice the key result is a spectacular failure John Doerr arguably still the world s best known VC is at the point where he thinks it s time he handed down to the next generation the commandments as he perceives them to have been handed down to him by prolific author cum management guru in his own right and former Intel CEO Andy Grove and as perfected and imposed on hundreds of companies by himselfTo judge by the people whose testimonials he has drafted to bol. Time frame Everyones goals from entry level to CEO are transparent to the entire organization The benefits are profound OKRs surface an organizations most important work They focus effort and foster coordination They keep employees on track They link objectives across silos to nify and strengthen the entire company Along the way OKRs enhance workplace satisfaction and boost retentionIn Measure What Matters Doerr shares a broad range of first person behind the scenes case studies with narrators including Bono and Bill Gates to demonstrate the focus agility and explosive growth that OKRs have spurred at so many great organizations This book will help a new generation of leaders capture the same magi.
John Doerr is an engineer acclaimed venture capitalist and the chairman of Kleiner Perkins