OKRs should be part of your
organization's DNA

The true power of the OKR process can only be realized when it’s integrated deeply into your organizational fabric, rather than being treated as just an additional process on the side. Let’s unravel some of the Result Rituals we teach in our OKR training, that help corporations keep OKRs top-of-mind and fully integrated into their day-to-day operations.

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Results Rituals:
The habits that ensure we remain on track

The best way to integrate OKRs into your organization’s DNA is by incorporating them into your regular meetings, such as weeklies, stand-ups, and other routines. There should be little to no extra work for any of these rituals. An effective OKR process is not about massive amounts of additional work, but rather small amounts of effort made consistently.

Action Plans

People celebrating their OKR success.

Calibrate & Celebrate

Monthly Business Reviews

Mid-Quarter Check-ins

1:1s

Actions Plans
Speak Louder Than Words

An action plan is the critical bridge between aligning OKRs and effectively executing them. Simply setting an OKR without detailing how it will be achieved often results in objectives falling short. Key results without action plans are merely a wish list.

It’s essential for teams to discuss the specific actions they will take to achieve their objectives. These discussions ensure that OKRs are not just theoretical but actionable. Action plans provide the necessary roadmap, outlining the steps needed to reach key results.

OKRs can serve two important functions:

  1. Inspiring New Initiatives: OKRs can offer new focus areas that inspire fresh initiatives and drive innovation. When teams understand the objectives, they can brainstorm and develop new projects and strategies that align with these goals.

  2. Optimizing Existing Work: OKRs can also provide insights into how existing work processes and projects may need to be adjusted. By aligning current activities with the new objectives, teams can ensure that their efforts are always contributing to the overarching goals.

Integrating detailed action plans into the OKR process ensures that objectives are not only set but also systematically pursued, turning goals into achievable results.

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Calibrate & Celebrate
keeps OKRs in focus week over week

By recalibrating focus every Monday, teams can adjust their priorities and efforts to stay on track. Teams should use KR data to have better conversations that move the team forward faster.

Some important conversations to have every Monday:

  • What are we going to do this week to ensure we’re making meaningful progress on a KR we are behind on?​
  • What is preventing us from making progress?”
  • Where do we need leadership’s help so we can achieve our OKRs?

The Monday meeting should conclude with clear action items for the week.

When Friday rolls around, celebrate some victories and the progress that was made!

  • What changes were made that improved progress?
  • Why did the changes improve progress?
  • Why did it move the needle on the KR?
  • How can we bring these improvements to other KRs?
People setting priorities at the beginning of the week and celebrating achievements at the end.

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Monthly Business Reviews
Unlock OKR Benefits Cross-functionally

During Executive Level MBRs, which involve all C-Suite members including the CEO, there should be an emphasis on risky OKRs and their corresponding next-level OKRs. This high-level scrutiny helps in identifying critical risks and aligning strategies to mitigate them effectively.

Cross-functional MBRs, on the other hand, involve relevant C-Suite executives and their next-level reports such as SVPs, VPs, and Directors. These meetings should mention the goals that align with the same top-level OKR, ensuring that there is cohesive support for upstream risks and a keen focus on downstream risks that are pertinent to their specific OKRs.

These MBRs focus on alignment and synchronization of future project courses. Leaders responsible for these actions or changes are expected to carry them into their respective weekly meetings, such as Calibrate and Celebrate sessions, where they can be distributed more granularly to their teams.

This continuous loop of alignment, action, and review ensures that your organization remains agile and responsive to both opportunities and challenges.

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Mid-Quarter Check-Ins
ensure meaningful progress

The mid-quarter check-in is an async process that serves multiple purposes for different stakeholders – the effects of which are discussed in weeklies and the next MBRs.

These should occur, you guessed it, at the middle of the quarter! These allow individuals, teams, and leaders to assess progress and develop a plan to finish the OKR cycle strongly.

If certain approaches are not yielding the expected results, teams can pivot and experiment with alternative methods, ensuring that efforts remain aligned with the desired outcomes.

OKRs

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1on1 meetings
empower employees to engage with the process

1on1 discussions around OKRs are by no means about measuring someone’s performance as a function of KR progress. Neither is it about setting OKRs on an individual level.

1on1s should be exchanges between managers and employees with the goal of driving performance. Make sure to express appreciation to individuals for their contributions. After all, people are the driving forces that create, leverage and support alignment.

integrate these rituals
Into Already Existing Meetings

Chances are that your teams are already meeting on Mondays to calibrate for the week. Add OKRs to the mix and celebrate async on Fridays. You’re probably already having MBRs and 1on1s. Discussing OKRs in these can go a long way. They don’t have to always dominate the conversation, but the last thing you want is for someone to ask, “Are we still doing that OKR thing?” By practicing these results rituals and getting in these habits, OKRs can become a significant part of your company’s culture, and in turn, your OKR program will become more successful and impactful.

Wave Nine is the go-to source for
OKR education

Results rituals are just the tips of the iceberg. Our extensive OKR training provides organizations with the knowledge to run successful OKR programs and adopt best practices.

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We Value Our Clients And They Value Our Close Partnership

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Andrew Huxter VP Northern Europe & Growth Markets EMEA at ResMed

Wave Nine really helped us understand the “real-world” potential of OKRs and enabled us to build and embed them successfully into the commercial organization. The insights they shared in leading us through the cycle has really driven a change in how we prioritize and enabled us to establish a very productive operating rhythm.

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Jeff Rachlin VP Customer Success at Menlo

Wave Nine helped us come together as a team to create a shared set of goals, objectives, and key results. Embedding their experts into our teams has accelerated the OKR rollout throughout the organization and we have achieved greater focus and results. We really appreciate the support of Wave Nine and would recommend them to organizations looking to kick start their OKR initiatives.

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Khaldoon Al Harmi Manager – Planning & Development Strategic Planning and Evaluation at KFAS

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole Wave Nine team for their great efforts and support. You have been brilliant throughout; we couldn't have asked for more from you.

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Craig Snaguski Chief of Staff at Marvin Engineering

When we first tried implementing OKRs, we worked with another firm, but they didn’t have anywhere near the same level of engagement that Wave Nine would show. In the end, we got so much more from Wave Nine's expertise that it turned into a continuous engagement.

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Larry Sanford VP of Operations at GetSetUp

I was impressed by the Wave Nine team’s engagement from the start. They were highly responsive and they worked to understand our business. They came to serve as an extension of our company, making sure we were doing everything right as we streamlined our implementation.

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Nick Sullivan General Manager, Strategy at Kiwibank

What Kiwibank really enjoyed was that with Wave Nine, OKRs are such an intuitive system that makes you live and breathe OKRs, rather than just setting and forgetting OKRs.

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