Measure What Matters – Book review

OKR – The simple idea that drives 10x growth. With a subtitle like that who isn’t interested in reading more, right? Here’s my review on this excellent management book. This post is part of my Book review series, you might like to take a look after reading this one.

Measure What Matters – John Doerr

I got the book after one of the many inspirational presentations by Peter Kestenholtz in the presentation he described the core concept and told us that we as Projectum, and probably the umbrella corporation Broad Horizon, would adopt (parts of) the OKR tactics.

Objectives and Key Results (OKR’s)

The book is divided in two sections. Where the first section introduces you to the concept through a wide list of success stories ranging from Google to fitness app builders.

The Objectives are the “What” in regards to goal setting, and the Key Results are the “How”. In the first part of the book John describes 4 superpowers that make the OKR method so successful. Each superpower is followed by a set of case studies that help drive home the topic.

The last superpower, Stretch for Amazing, has an interesting concept that I haven’t read before: That it is ok to not always reach a goal. There are certain stretch Objectives that are just fine if you reach 70% of that goal. But then there are hard Objectives that really need to be reached as well.

The second part of the book details how this philosophy needed to evolve in the new way of thinking. Because bottom line, the OKR was first conceptualised back in 1971 by Andy Grove at INTEL. So, some changes had to be made, or rather additions to the method.

The major addition is called Conversations, Feedback and Recognition or CFR for short.

It really is the cherry on the cake. And provides valid points regarding a new way HR and the management layer should look at connecting with their workforce.

Say farewell to the annual review meeting (that is linked to your bonus). And say hello to a continuous loop of communication, bi-directional and focussed on the content and getting the most value for both parties.

The book finishes with a couple of resources. And #4 is just awesome! It’s a summary of the key take away’s of the book. I’ll be sure to pick up that chapter regularly. And if you see the book in the bookstore, head on over to that chapter, if something sticks buy it, if it doesn’t leave it.

Final notes

The book provides a lot of case studies and is a great read!

I’m on a little quest (with Peter) to get OKR embedded into Projectum. Even last week I presented the 3 O’s and related KRs to the whole company and got a personal message back from the CEO, telling me how inspired he was and happy to adopt it.

Feel free to reach out to me on this topic. Because I find it very exciting. You can grab a copy just about anywhere, so I won’t bother you with affiliate links today.