On ground level, there are tasks and things to check off.

On the next level, there are projects to complete.

On a high level, there is a direction where you want to go.

Tasks are easy. They will come your way and you’ll be able to tick the appropriate boxes.

Projects are a bit harder, because you need to keep your energy, make sure there is focus and you need to think about which part of the project comes first.

A direction, a vision, is difficult. But you need it in order to work on the projects and tasks that will really help you to go forward.

OKRs (Objective and Key Results) help you figure this out and build a framework for the complete company to work together to reach a shared goal. I’ve added a couple of links below if you want to dive in.

In short:

You define a set of objectives. An objective is an ambitious, uncomfortable statement. For each objective, you define 3 to 5 key results. Key results should be easy to grade with a number. Numbers enable objective evaluation. There shouldn’t be more than 3 to 5 objectives per organization, team or individual.

For your newly created OKRs, you set a timeframe. Most companies use a combination of yearly and quarterly OKRs.

Now, you could just set yourself a couple of OKRs. It will probably make you more effective as an individual. However, this gets even more powerful when this is rolled out company-wide and the alignment principle is introduced. This is a simple concept where the CEO says: here are the company objectives and it is up to each team to come up with a set of OKRs that will actually help complete the company OKRs. If a personal OKR helps complete a company goal, it is aligned.

This just scratches the surface. If you want to get more effective, I’d encourage you to research if OKRs are something that can be implemented in (a part of) your work.

Further reading: