How to Start Making Better Strategic Decisions with Your Team

TL’DR

In a week, an average manager makes more than 70,000 decisions. Poor decisions, whether every day or strategic in nature, can cause irreversible damage to an organisation. Behavioural Economics and Management Sciences points to two major hurdles that negatively impact decision-making.

  1. Cognitive Biases
  2. Lack of Systematic Process for Decision-making

Cognitive biases are an evolutionary tool designed to aid us to navigate our everyday lives but left unchecked they can lead us to poor judgement. Being aware of the most common biases that affect decision making is the first step for individual executives, but for teams, it’s essential to use a well-defined process for quality decision-making.

Beyond the individual executives and senior management, scaling decision-making best practices to the whole organisation requires more than a checklist. Adhering to tried and tested principles can help you elevate the quality of decision-making throughout your organisation.

I’ve explored these topics in detail in the keynote below. You can go through the complete deck or jump straight to the part you’re most interested in using the Quick Links on the second slide.

I recommend viewing the presentation (Below) in the Presentation Mode (Fullscreen) for an optimal experience.

Download the presentation as PDF.

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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4 Managerial Disciplines for Successful OKR Adoption

This is the story of where I went wrong when I first started using Objectives and Key Results and what I learnt from my experience. After the initial setback, I went back to the 4 managerial disciplines or the Four OKR Superpowers necessary for a successful OKR adoption.

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History of OKRs – From Peter Drucker to Andy Grove

“Aliyar hates processes.” I heard one of my teammates 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 promoting healthy scepticism 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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