As we saw in the history of OKRs, they have been in existence for at least 3-4 decades now. Its just that they are spreading across the technology world, because of the impact they’ve had on some of the silicon valley startups. A word of caution – attributing the entire success of a company to just OKRs would not be wise. Thus while you go through these stories, do keep in mind that just adoption of OKRs will not guarantee success. There are always two sides to the coin.
There are many companies which have successfully adopted OKRs & evolved their own flavors of OKRs as they went on. And also, there are many companies who failed to adopt OKRs & decided to drop the idea as they progressed (but were still very successful). Whether the framework does make sense to you or not, is totally up to you to decide. Some of the key failure points in OKR adoption & compatibility in terms of company values will be looked into at a later stage of this course.
In the OKR basics lesson, we did see an OKR introduction video by Rick Klau of Google venture lab. That video has played a very crucial part in this framework adoption across the world. Google embraced this framework right when they were a small team – of about 40 people. They are using it even now, when they are 70000 strong. Larry & Sergey adopted OKRs because the framework resonated with their core belief that individuals should be given a free hand in setting & achieving ‘moonshot goals’.
Jeff Weiner, when became CEO at LinkedIn, brought in the OKRs. While using OKRs LinkedIn not only completed their 20 billion $ IPO but also recently got acquired by Microsoft. According to them, OKRs convey to the entire company ‘what really matters’. It definitely serves as an effective communication medium when outlining priorities. And this is especially helpful for fast growing companies.