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Thanks to the always good Wunderkammer newsletter for pointing me at this piece on OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) the simple but very sensible organisational system that originated in Intel but has been a long-term staple at Google. The system, involving setting quarterly measurable, definitive objectives at a company, team and/or individual level, and then supporting that with quantifiable key results seems obvious but I suspect most companies fail to do it in quite such a simple, straight forward way.

I particularly liked the idea of a scoring system between 0-1 that not only highlights when things need serious attention but also one where the goal is not to achieve a perfect 1 (since that would mean your goals were too easy) but instead to aim for around 0.6-0.7.

And I also liked the way that Google apparently make all OKRs (from Larry Page down) public knowledge within the company, going as far as making them and the associated scores visible within the public directory and on internal profiles. This transparency helps everyone understand what everyone else is working on, ensuring greater empathy and understanding for individual or team priorities, and giving focus to how an individual might make their own priorities align with someone else’s in order to get stuff done. Simple. But then the best ideas always are.

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