There are many companies which have successfully adopted OKRs and modified them based on their organizational needs and industry trends. Here’s a list of few companies that adopted OKRs successfully.
The term OKRs was introduced by Andrew Grove who was the CEO of Intel during the 1968. The OKR goal-setting model gained popularity in 1970. This was the time when Intel was transitioning from a memory company to a microprocessor company. During this time Intel needed a defined set of goals to work towards so that the transition would be successful.
Intel adopted OKRs (which were based on Peter Drucker’s MBOs) and successfully transformed its business. During this time, John Doerr who worked with Andrew Grove, learnt about the importance of OKRs and how they helped the growth of a business. Later on, John Doerr went on to introduce the concept of OKRs to Google when it was just a start-up.
Way back in 1999, Google was just a one year old startup where John Doerr made a presentation about OKRs. Google immediately adopted the concept and began implementing it.
Today Google’s OKRs are a lot more popular than that of Intel’s even though Intel was the first one to introduce them. How were Google’s OKRs different? Google just shortened the OKR cycle. Instead of making it annual, they made it a quarterly process. Google also ditched the concept of cascading goals up and down the organization and made sure that the top OKRs were public to everyone in the organization.
Google made its employees write their own OKRs and align it with the publicly visible organizational OKRs. This practice helped them focus better on their objectives and also promoted collaboration.
When Kenton Kivestu joined Zynga in 2011, the company was getting trounced by a competitor who was better than Zynga in most ways. The competitor had better UX, more features and the best app store rankings too. But implementing OKRs into Zynga helped them defeat the competitor and emerge as the number one iOS poker game within six months of setting it as an objective.
OKRs helped Zynga drive focus and measure their progress from time to time which allowed them overtake their competitor’s place.
At Twitter, OKRs were not just a way to measure progress; more importantly, they were a way to communicate with other teams and employees in an organization and show the other teams what you’re trying to accomplish. OKRs at Twitter encouraged collaboration by making the OKRs visible to all team members.
Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn says that it is important to know and understand the mission of one’s company than just having it as a banner. LinkedIn uses OKRs as task-tracking system that allows its employees to understand the vision and mission of the organization and align themselves to it.
Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.