Accelerate OKRs – Delegate OKRs both Up and Down

three people sitting beside table

“Shoot for the sun and you will reach the moon…” a common narrative senior executives use when cascading aggressive targets downstream to their leaders and team. Using stretch targets is indeed a great way to shake from stagnation… but only if the level of inspiration matches the aspiration. Unfortunately, ambitious targets are too often NOT accompanied with equal level of support to achieve them. Yet there is another way, a better way, and one that can actually take you all the way to sun. And yes, OKRs can enable and empower this journey.

This article is part of a larger series: Ten Most Important OKR Accelerators

Are you seeing these problems in your current activation / implementation of OKRs?

  • When OKR targets are cascaded down, they are received without visible ownership and excitement
  • There is no accountability from individuals for missing OKR targets
  • Your team keeps missing OKR targets
  • Your team keeps telling you that targets are too aggressive

Let me first clarify: You CAN cascade OKRs downstream just like you did your previous targets / KPIs. But why would you stop there? Why wouldn’t you expose barriers to achieve them and work together to overcome them. Here is how this typically plays out with OKRs:

  1. Senior leaders set ambitious targets and share them with their directs… Delegate Down
  2. Directs return with key barriers to achieve these targets and how Senior leaders need to provide support… Delegate Up
  3. Both sides partner to find solutions where ambitious targets are achievable and barriers removed… to reach the moon.
  4. Even better, both sides partner to find solutions on achieving even more achievable targets and even bigger barriers removed… this time to reach the sun.

Of course having an experienced OKR consultant partnering and supporting these changes can help you advance through these stages easier and faster.

We are here if you need any help

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