Top positive review
Aspiration to Achievement
9 November 2018
It is well known that single digit companies manage to generate double digit growth. The top ten percent of companies create over 70 percent of wealth. This success rate is true even for individuals as well as not-for-profit organizations. Though most organizations and individuals start with great aspirations, only a few manage to make it to the top. This book is a guide for all to help translate aspirations into achievements using a robust management framework.
Andy Grove of Intel fame is known as one of the most successful business leaders of the twentieth century. ‘Intel Delivers’ was his mantra. His simple, yet rigorous means of setting ambitious goals or Objectives and then tying them to Key Results that measure the direction and quantum of their achievement is OKR. This concept is also discussed in management literature as Managing by Objectives and other terminologies. The success of OKR lies in its simplicity and rigor of execution.
John Doerr helps us understand OKR trough his own experience at Intel and relentless implementation at Google and other organizations. Larry Page of Google in 1999 had the ambition to match IBM and Microsoft in market capitalization of a hundred billion dollars. Google’s idea was to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’’. “The founders were quintessential visionaries, with extreme entrepreneurial energy. What they lacked was management experience.’’ The book then goes on to show that “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.”
The Objective sets the direction. It needs to be inspiring, simple to understand and communicated throughout the organization. It is proven that people excel when they are challenged with hard goals, that are clearly articulated. The Key Results are measurable, time bound deliverables, which when achieved signal the completion of the objective. The Key results are interrelated across functions, top down, bottom up, and a perfect network of tasks that perform like an orchestra in an organization. This needs a change in culture, to bring in transparency of OKRs at all levels, sharing and teamwork. What matters is accomplishments and not mere past credentials. Merit scores over seniority.
To effectively execute the OKR concept, the author has four OKR ‘Super Powers’: Focus, Align, Track and Stretch.
The case study Intel’s ‘Operation Crush’ when its 8086 beat the giant Motorola’s 68000 chip in the market place in 1980 in a very short time, is fascinating.
The book has devoted one chapter each to the concepts that are sequenced perfectly and illustrated using insightful case studies. Proof of the pudding explained and delivered.