How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs
By John Doerr (2018)
In 1999, Google picked up on a simple management tool which had been widely used at Intel and Sun Microsystems. That tool was OKRs: It turned out that the methodology of articulating your objectives (WHAT is to be achieved) and linking them to the key results you want to measure (HOW do we achieve that) is something of a management super tool. OKRs force people to get specific. Results are measurable and verifiable – you either achieve them or you don't.
Google is pretty much the most data-driven company on the planet and Google's management team have used OKRs to run the company ever since. OKRs are now also widely used in companies like AOL, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Oracle, Slack, Spotify and Twitter to name a few.
In sum, OKRs are the Swiss Army knives of structured goal setting. They provide a shared language for the execution of ordinary or bold and audacious goals. OKRs are an incredibly useful collaborative goal setting protocol that works.
JOHN DOERR is an engineer, an accomplished venture capitalist and the current chairman of investment firm Kleiner Perkins. He was an original investor and board member at Google and Amazon who together have created more than 500,000 jobs as they have grown to become the world's second and third most valuable companies. John Doerr has worked in the venture capital industry for 37 years looking for the most disruptive ideas and boldest teams to back. He also works with social entrepreneurs who are working to reimagine the future of healthcare, machine learning and other technologies. John Doerr is a graduate of Chaminade College, Rice University and Harvard University.