1. Getting started with Company Objectives

Before starting with Company objectives, it’s important to have the Vision, Mission, and strategy in place. Then we can proceed further and start finalizing your objectives. Timelines for company objectives can vary. The company objectives can be drafted with quarterly cadence, most preferred.

Key Learning: OKR is a framework for CEOs to align people with company objectives. And build the habit of thinking, planning, and executing what it takes to achieve company objectives. Many organizations have learned it a very hard way after failing a number of times. And we firmly believe that implementing OKR should be to get the execution done & support growth, not to do the goal-setting exercise 4 times a year.

2. Drafting Company objectives

It’s important to have the OKR Ambassadors finalized before drafting the company-level objectives. Companies should be able to communicate in simple language to the lowest level of the employee and he should be able to relate it to his role.

OKR is a transformational journey, it needs time to get streamlined. The top thing that comes to mind while drafting the company objective is the revenue projection and sales target plan.
Preparing those sales target plans is that it does not provide enough guidance to the team on how they can achieve these targets.
Your company objectives should not be a long list like below. If we add too many objectives and it will bring down the focus and priority
Company Objectives can be based on
• The strategic bets you are chasing
• Competitive landscape
• Technological & market condition changes.
• And above all, what all will it take to enhance your product/service & company to be more customer-centric.
The best-written Company Objectives should not be more than 3 to 5 and should be able to guide the entire organisation.

3. Questions that can help in drafting OKRs

1. What is the core purpose of the company?
2. Why you are doing what you are doing?
3. How the products/services are unique from the competition or in the market?
4. What the company can potentially do better than any of its competitors in serving the customers? And what’s missing to achieve that potential.
5. What are the gaps in moving your products and/or service effectively and efficiently to the customer?
6. What are the top 3 barriers for your company to achieve higher sales & margin growth?

Above all, what insights do you need to get or what hypothesis do you need to validate to effectively generate sustained cash flow & profitability?
Let’s look at the below screenshots and see which company objectives are more effective and can be clearly understandable. The objective should specifically resonate with our business as the below mentioned in the image for Southwest Airlines.

Source: Developing a Strategy for Execution-MIT Sloan School of Management

4. Guidelines

  1. List Possible company objectives and discuss with the key stakeholders to finalise the final 3 to 5 company objectives.
  2. All the company objectives should be mutually exclusive.
  3. These company objectives should be able to communicate the meaning and purpose to the Department heads, managers and individuals.

Having understood the priority, we can avoid business as usual OKRs.
For example, we can write objectives that will bring us to move forward than to stand still. When you’d like to move forward and get out of your status quo, there are 3 different ways that will help us to draft Objectives.

For Example Market Expansion OKR
Expanding a new market starts with a whole set of new activities. Writing OKRs to achieve those aspirational objectives will be the right start. Increasing the customers and retaining will be the most important objective of the team.

Objective: Become choice of the customer in the MENA region
Key Result – Increase the market share from xx to yy%
Key Result – Increase customer retention by xx%
Key Result – Increase customer conversation rate to XX%

5. Challenges

1. Creating business-as-usual OKR
2. Confusion around Company-level Objectives with revenue targets.
3. Vision of the big picture
4. Having too many company objectives
5. Objectives are too challenging or not challenging enough

Key Learning: Your company objectives define your company and leadership priorities and the overall outcome that needs to be achieved in a financial year.