What Happens when Your Values and Metrics are Misaligned?


Strategy statements are meant to be inspirational and ooze ambition. Perhaps that’s why mission, vision and strategy statements are often a little ambiguous.

Apple – Think different.

Samsung – Create the future.

Bayer – Science for a better life.

A good mission statement is a powerful marketing tool, on the one hand, it communicates your brand’s position and differentiation and on the other, it’s a source of inspiration for your customers and employees.

While powerful and effective at telling people where the organisation is headed they don’t say much about how that ambition is realised.

That’s where metrics come in.

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Choosing the Best Metrics for Your OKRs

Setting an ambitious goal is never enough. In reality despite all the grand presentations most businesses never reach their strategic objectives.

You might feel inclined to look for a weak link among your managers or your team but the real culprit is a lot more devious. Believe it or not what’s really keeping you from working on your most important work is your most urgent work.

And why shouldn’t it. Striking things off your to-do list is whole lot quicker than waiting for months or years to see your strategy come to fruition.

How you keep track and measure your urgent and important work matters. In this article I will share a story about how poor metrics can keep you reaching your goals despite your best effort and what you can do to avoid it.

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Stop Wasting Time Being Productive. Become Effective Instead

After repeatedly running into the exact same problems and watching us slowly falling behind schedule on our strategic ambitions. We needed to break the pattern without wasting anymore time.

This is a story of how a chance conversation with a client and a TED Talk lead me to discover the Eisenhower Matrix. I’ve been using it for over a year now and it’s been the most effective tool for managing my urgent tasks without failing to make time for our most important work.

This article also includes a link to my worksheet based on the Eisenhower Matrix.

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Why Your Team Gave Up on Your Strategy Long Ago

Chances are that your company, like many others, start each year with inspiring strategy presentations and ambitious plans. Teams are reshuffled, new roles are created and people are rallied to focus on a new strategy.

It’s just as likely that despite every good intention and excitement, deadlines are missed, plans are forgotten, people are disappointed and by the end of first quarter your new strategy is lost to the wind.

If you can relate to this, you’re not alone.

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Tips for Writing Better OKRs

Objectives & Key Results is a management methodology famously known as the engine behind the explosive growth of many Silicon Valley start-ups including Google and LinkedIn. OKRs provide a framework for focusing on a handful of highly impactful Objectives and achieving them following specific and measurable Key Results.

An effective OKR is both unambiguous and actionable. It includes an objective plus 3 – 5 key results. A good objective needs to be inspirational and challenging, while the key results need to be specific, measurable and time bound. An OKR that isn’t written well is hard to communicate and even harder to achieve.

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What is the Best Frequency for Evaluating OKRs?

Deciding how often you should evaluate your progress is a crucial part of getting started with the OKR methodology. The most commonly used OKR evaluation cycle or cadence is weekly or monthly check-ins with quarterly and annual review. While this approach works for most organisations, it may not be the best option for you.

In this article I’ll walk you through the process of finding an OKR cadence that works the best for you.

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History of OKRs – From Peter Drucker to Andy Grove

“Aliyar hates processes.” I heard one of my team mates explain to a new hire.

It was true. I used to hate management by processes. Too much reliance on following processes leads to mediocrity. I’ve seen it happen before and I was determined to avoid it by promote healthy skepticism and a spirit of experimentation. I’m still not a huge fan of processes but I’ve come to see that all processes aren’t created equal.

Building a high performance team requires a disciplined approach to managing performance and rewards. Before fully adopting OKRs I had heard about them but I didn’t fully commit to using Objective & Key Results without some trial and error.

Along the way the two management titans that inspired me the most were Peter Drucker and Andy Grove.

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Introduction to OKRs – Objectives & Key Results

Since you’re here I’m sure you’ve already heard (or read) about how LinkedIn, Intel, YouTube, Bill & Melinda Gates and perhaps most notably Google have used OKRs to achieve exponential growth.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Peter Drucker

Beyond delivering growth OKRs has also given them to tools to build a remarkable organisational culture that nourishes performance, collaboration and accountability.

In this article I’ll introduce the OKR management methodology, give examples of good vs bad OKRs and share advice on how you can get started with OKRs.

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My Favourite Quotes from Measure What Matters

Objectives and Key Results is a management methodology may have been popularised by the explosive growth stories of Silicon Valley startups but today more and more organisations are using it to improve performance and reach their Wildly Important Goals.

If you’re interested in exploring performance management built on a culture of collaboration and accountability then there’s no better place to start than John Doerr’s Measure What Matter. It’s an invaluable resource filled with practical advice and case studies to help you better understand and implement OKRs.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book.

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