They say three is a magic number, and this is episode three of season three, so it’s bound to be a good one. Today Matt and Chris are talking about OKRs and how setting better goals can change your whole business, from boosting growth, to building audiences, and retaining good staff.
Here’s the breakdown
00:00 - Intro
00:48 - Uninspiring goals
01:39 - The three Cs
03:49 - Example
04:19 - Cause
07:33 - Crew
09:44 - Customer
10:55 - Software
12:11 - TED Talk
Clicky the linky
Have a browse of these links for some further watching / reading.
John Doerr - Why The Secret to Success is Setting the Right Goals. In this TED Talk, the daddy of OKRs explains the concept and how it can define your business.
Transcript Show / Hide
It's like being back at school.
We went to school together, me and Chris, so we have lots of in jokes that you'll never understand.
Not that we understand them either. Anyway. Hi, I'm Matt.
Uh, what are we doing today, Chris?
We're doing a Monkay Monday.
Monkay Monday. It's hard. I told you it was hard.
Well, you know, yeah. We're going to talk about OKRs.
Again? Maybe. Yeah. Well, what, again, this was one of my, uh, middle of the night. Uh, kind of...
You should get more sleep.
I know I should, I drink too much coffee. Um, There's a kind of a thought I have in the middle of the night and I found it, we found it really good. Haven't we we've been talking to, um, companies about this, helping companies set up some, um, objectives and goals, and it's quite hard, a lot of the time, companies get really stuck in the rut of setting goals. Goals, normally sound like this. Um, I want to double my turnover.
Think of another rubbish goal.
Uh, I want to sell 50 more cups of coffee.
Yeah. I want to be number one.
Yeah. I want to live on a yacht in five years.
Yeah. I realized that a lot of company goals can just be really self-serving and there's nothing wrong with having a financial goal, but really, I think it kind of sits more of as a KPI. It's a measure of how well you're doing as a business, really. They're important to have, you want sales targets, all these things should exist. But, uh, I think what we discovered makes really good OKRs and a way of thinking outside the box to create good OKRs is, uh, they should serve one of three Cs.
Yes. We talked about this in another video, but we're going to go into a bit more depth in this video. So they should serve your cause, which is your, um, your reason for being, really. We talk about this a lot, your 'why'. They should serve your customer or they could serve your crew, your team, your staff.
And, uh, having all the, have your three Cs in line is really good. So everyone has those in the back of their mind and, uh, they can use those and run with those so they can pull the business in the same direction. If your whole reason for being was to allow you to live on a yacht in five years, the people at the bottom of your business, the worker bees, they're not going to want to do that, are they? Or maybe they don't like you and prefer you to be on a yacht, but it's a pretty crappy goal for everyone else to work with.
Yeah. I think if you set goals that are aspirational and look self-serving to the business, you know, whoever's in your warehouse looking after your warehouse stock, um, if they feel like they're contributing to something greater is it's gonna, it's going to bring them real value, I think, which is a very important thing.
Yeah. And, um, we're into businesses which are more ethical than having a hierarchy such as that.
Yeah. So, um, I've seen it really change the way businesses approach lots of things. Even online marketing. It's a really powerful thing because it can create campaigns out of nowhere. Rather than just doing campaigns for the sake of doing a campaign or, Oh, let's post this stuff, um, around social media, just because it's what we normally do. Let's talk about our product. Let's talk about, you know, this, the same old, same old. It allows you to start telling different stories, I think. And those stories can be aligned to those goals and it makes things easier to measure. It just fits so neatly together.
All right. Well, let's come up with an example company to work with them.
Right, okay. Er right what about okay um, lots of people working from home at the moment.
So, uh, people are building sheds aren't they, so let's have an eco shed company.
Let's pretend we want to build sheds from reclaimed wood.
Wow. Okay. Fine. So we need to come up with some OKRs for that company.
Yeah. Well, we need to define our cause first, really. I think that's an important thing because why do we exist? Why are we using reclaimed timber? Well, I guess it's because we care about sustainability. We care about the environment. We care about global warming, all these things. So our cause is a simple one. Um, your cause could be something completely different, but for these guys, let's assume it's that. Cause everyone gets that, right. So, um, that's our cause. I guess we need to think of a goal associated with that.
So saving trees.
That's an easy one, there we go. We picked an easy one, I think.
Save a hundred trees?
Yes. Why not? A goal should have something that's sort of measurable and within a certain timeframe. So you might say, let's save a hundred trees in 12 months, for instance. I have no idea how many trees make a shed.
I don't know, surely less than one.
[mumbling] Yeah. How big a tree? The thing is though, even doing that, it makes you start asking questions, doesn't it? Well, how big is the tree that we're going to save? What trees normally make sheds? Yeah, I guess, um, why is it bad that these trees are being, you know, turned into sawn timber to make sheds, what is the by-product of that? So straight away I can think of stories to tell, um, stories to tell our audience about why sawn timber isn't very good and the way it's treated and where it comes from and the impact it has on the environment. You can tell the stories around the market you're trying to disrupt, I guess. Um, So we've got a goal there to save a hundred trees. Uh, we've got a time limit, then we need to sort of think about how you'd measure that. So, uh, how would you measure it?
Well, probably the amount of sheds you're selling, your good sheds that you're selling as opposed to the bad ones.
Yeah. For each good shed you build you've maybe saved the same timber from a bad shed.
I'm sorry for all the people who make normal sheds, by the way. I'm sure they're all great.
So maybe you just have to sell a hundred sheds to save a hundred trees.
Why not? Something like that. Someone could do better maths around it, I'm sure. Um, maybe if you're not, this is another cool thing. Maybe if you, if you're not reaching your target by selling those sheds, maybe you can save some trees in another way. Then you can still say that out loud, we saved a hundred trees. Here's how we did it. You can tell that story. That story is really going to resonate with the audience who care about what you care about and they're going to go, wow, these guys have saved a hundred trees.
Yeah. But they've only sold one shed.
Yeah. They've not made any profit at all and they've died.
Okay. So that's cause done.
Yeah, actually the good thing about cause, that cause though, is what that is doing. You are putting a bit of a financial goal inside it because you're going, look, we need to sell X amount of sheds and that's going to help your business because you're going to be driven to sell the sheds to save the trees. You're not driven to sell the sheds to make the money. So your people who are installing the sheds, they can go great, we've installed this shed. How has that contributed to us saving these trees? Everybody gets the value from it.
Yep. Even down to the customers.
Okay so what's next? Let's go with crew next.
Okay. Fine. So, uh, an eco shed company, um, potentially something to do with their crew would be around how they get to work. Maybe you could, um, reduce their carbon footprint somehow through, by half?
Well, that does a bit of both, that kind of serves your cause and your crew at the same time, I guess what you might be able to do for the crew is, uh, well it's gonna make them feel good, I guess if, if you say to them, look, one of the perks of working for us is that we, I dunno, we subsidize all, half of, half of all of your travel, even when you go on holiday.
We pay for half of it?
Well, that's a weird goal, but yes.
But why not?
I mean, there's, there's easier things, isn't it? Like you could have your cycle to work scheme. If we're trying to get, make our, um, our crew have a net zero carbon emissions from their transport, you can install your, um, uh, install car charges. You could subsidize bus journeys on clean buses.
These are all - you see how straight away it starts changing your business. It's not just. Um, these, these goals change your business, not just how you operate and how you market yourself. It changes everything in them. They're really great.
Yeah. And it's stories that you'd sell potential clients as well. They even do this for their staff. That's pretty remarkable, isn't it?
Yeah. And your team will start telling that story too. They'll start talking about what you do for them. They become your brand ambassadors as well. So when they, when they're turning, rocking up and installing a shed, they can say to people, well, we got here today, we're in this electric car and, you know, we have paperless, you know, signing of the order. Um, you know, they, they say they really look after me. They pay for half of my flights whenever I go on holiday...
Wait a minute, that's not very carbon neutral, is it?
Well, if they're, if they're offsetting it, I dunno, we're riffing this. We don't know, we're making this up. You'll do a much better job, I'm sure, if you're doing this in real life.
So you've got two, you've done two Cs so far. So the third C...
Okay. What can we do for them?
Customer? Let's go off the environment for this one. Okay. Why not? Maybe, um, what you want to do for your customer is make it really easy for them to, to buy these sheds from you. Let's, maybe you just want to give them a finance option.
Yeah. Cause it could be slightly more expensive to buy an eco version as opposed to a normal shed. So you just want to make it easy.
Yeah. So, um, that could be a goal and the nice thing about that goal is you can set a time scale and say, look, we want to introduce a finance scheme - a fair, really affordable, ethical finance scheme, um, by, I dunno, before Christmas. Whatever that time timescale may be. Your measure for it, your KPI, if you like, your, how are you going to measure that is pretty binary. You've either done it or you haven't, if you haven't done it, maybe you just need to set more time. That's okay. You can fail to hit your goals, but they're there to drive your behavior to change things. What you do have in that one though, is a lot of tasks, right?
Yeah. You've gotta find your finance company. You've got to yeah. Figure out how to put that online and do all the checks. Yeah. It's quite a lot to do.
Um, there's some software as well that'll help you organize this stuff. Check out some OKR software online. Mostly is in the format of, Hey, here's our, oh, here's our objective. The timescale of the objective, here is how we're going to measure it. And you can input your own metrics in that to see how you're doing. And you can even use it as a bit of a project management system, sometimes. Here are the things we need to tick off to, to actually try and start achieving some of these goals. Um, but what we've seen is when organizations and businesses adopt this and they, um, they work with it inside their marketing team, or they work with an external marketing team such as ourselves, is that it really helps drive the behavior, the whole marketing strategy, because, um, everybody down to the people who start doing social media posts can go Aha! Part of what I'm doing here - and it brings them loads of value as well. Part of what I'm doing here is helping save 100 trees. Even this little campaign here. I'm just, that is what I'm doing. If I can convert some people here, I'm saving, saving some trees and it brings loads of value and reward to everybody who's working towards those joint goals.
Yep. And, um, Mel will put a link to the TED Talk by, uh, John Doerr. Yup. Uh, who, um, did he invent it? Did he come up with it?
Why not. We can say it. You can't prove otherwise.
It's an interesting TED Talk. He's slightly evangelical at one point, but you know, it's a good, good watch.
Yeah, it's a good starting point. Um, we'll put some links to some software on there as well. Poor Mel. Thank you, Mel, by the way, we love you.
All right. Yes. Well, we'll let Mel get on with those things and we'll see you next week for another Monkey Monday.