Feb 7, 2023
OKRs in Action: Revolutionizing Management | Rianne Roggema, Founder at Practic
Key things discussed
* The use of OKRs in organizations and how to make them more effective.
* The importance of decoupling OKRs from financial incentives and using them to assign resources and help people achieve their objectives.
* Rianne shares her approach to getting buy-in from different teams and senior management, and her belief that the logic of OKRs is undeniable.
* A more radical approach to budgeting, using OKRs to drive budgeting, which provides a clear intent and strategy.
* The importance of showing that resources are available to help staff achieve their OKRs and how this approach can lead to a better and more strategic budget.
* [04:05] Rianne Roggema walks us through her career since becoming a managing director for the first time at 25, started her own business at 28, and sold her digital marketing agency, Irie Digital
* Became the CEO of a merged business, Duwun, and grew the team from 15-20 to 80 by the age of 30
* She was searching for a tool to manage such a large team, and got introduced to OKRs
* Her latest venture, Practic, helps leaders and entrepreneurs become better leaders by using OKRs
* Rianne Roggema started her career with a six-month internship at Rocket Internet in Myanmar, and then became the managing director of the company
* She started her own digital marketing agency, Irie Digital, but as the team grew, she realized she needed a better way to set clear goals and direction for the team, and that's how she got introduced to OKRs
* She found OKRs to be a good tool for managing her team and facilitating them to do their best, and that's why she started Practic to help other leaders and entrepreneurs to use OKRs in their businesses
* [07:17] Jenny and Rianne discuss the use of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) in organizations
* Rianne started using OKRs with a team of 12 and believed it could work for small teams
* OKRs are a simple concept, but can become bloated if people add too much to it
* The introduction of OKRs can bring attention to bloatedness already present in the organization
* OKRs can help make bloated processes more organized and reduce them.
* [09:14] Jenny and Rianne discuss the implementation of OKRs in a newly merged business where the team initially struggled with them and did not like them. The CEO, Rianne Roggema, managed to solve some of the team's concerns by giving them more clarity around the company's goals and the employees' success criteria, as well as decoupling OKRs from financial incentives. After a half year of implementing OKRs in a new way, the team came to love them and even missed them at their new jobs.
* [12:28] The discussion on how to make OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) more effective in a business.
* The first step is to decouple OKRs from incentives, as linking them may cause people to be defensive and less open to discussing success and failure.
* The second step is to use OKRs to assign resources and help people achieve their objectives, rather than just monitoring and evaluating them. This helps increase acceptance and effectiveness of OKRs.
* The final topic discussed was incentives, as there are already systems in place for many businesses to assess performance and offer bonuses or promotions.
* Rianne talks about detaching these incentives from OKRs.
* [15:06] Making incentives work with OKRs. Rianne detached financial performance bonuses from OKRs but kept them as part of the annual performance conversation, with 50% of the assessment being based on OKRs and the other 50% on company values.
* Different people are incentivized differently, with salespeople usually motivated by bonuses and others more by job satisfaction.
* The clear goals set by OKRs help employees see how they are doing and being valued for their good work, which can lead to promotions but not necessarily direct financial bonuses.
* [17:13] Listeners can learn that OKRs are a simple management tool that can be adapted to fit an organization's specific needs. In this case, a media organization (Duwun) used a bottom-up approach, where local teams decided their own strategies and created their own OKRs, rather than a top-down approach where a central leadership team would dictate global OKRs. This approach worked for Duwun as it aligned with the company's DNA, which values local initiative in journalism. The local teams presented their OKRs and had discussions with top management for possible adjustments. Centralizing the OKRs would not have worked for Duwun, as journalism is contextual and varies by local market.
* [21:08] Rianne shares her approach to getting buy-in from different teams and top management. She believes that the logic of OKRs, including clear goals and measurable results, is undeniable and can be helpful in settling debates within a company.
* On a senior management level, Rianne exposes any unclarities or differences to well-intended managers, and most of the time, they agree to try OKRs.
* On a team level, Rianne stresses the importance of showing that resources are available to help staff achieve their OKRs.
* She gives an example of how she, as a manager, provided resources to her editor in chief to fulfill an OKR, which led to her team realizing the benefits of OKRs.
* [25:50] Rianne discusses a more radical approach to budgeting beyond the traditional annual planning and budgeting cycles.
* She shares that often, budgeting involves merely adjusting numbers in Excel to make them work, without a clear strategy behind it.
* To overcome this, Rianne suggests using OKRs to drive budgeting.
* OKRs can provide a clear intent and strategy, helping to link budgeting to specific goals such as launching a TV channel or getting into YouTube. By linking the budget to specific goals, Rianne believes it will lead to a better and more strategic budget.
* [29:53] Rianne believes that the success of OKRs depends on the leader. The leader must lead by example, show that OKRs are a priority, and make sure all conversations tie back to the OKRs. When OKRs are working effectively, meetings have clear goals, and ideas from team members are presented as OKRs. When team members propose projects as OKRs, it makes discussions between employees and managers easier.
* [33:28] Listeners can learn that the dynamic of conversations change when they focus on the progress made towards their OKRs rather than the day-to-day tasks.
* This helps people feel like they're manifesting results, making the experience more fulfilling.
* The concept of clear goals and trust is also emphasized, as trust within an organization is crucial for success.
* Managers should avoid over-managing and trust their employees to figure out how to achieve the agreed upon outcomes.
* Trust and clear goals are key to a successful outcome.
* [36:27] Quick Fire Questions for Rianne:
* What’s your Dream with a Deadline?
* Rianne Roggema wants to help other entrepreneurs find peace through OKRs by starting a group program for five entrepreneurs in mid-February with the goal of finding five entrepreneurs to join the program.
* What is a change in the business brought by OKRs that you are proud of?
* Rianne answered that the shift from micromanaging to people being able to use their own specialties and having clear goals led to better outcomes with less effort by the management.
* What is your advice for someone who has tried OKRs before but didn't work, and they want to try again?
* Rianne's advice for someone who tried OKRs previously and it didn't work is to be willing to admit that they need to get better and ask for help in implementing OKRs better, which she believes can solve many of the problems.
About Our Guest:
Rianne, the CEO and Founder of Practic, started her career at 25 as a managing director for Rocket Internet in Myanmar and later started her own digital marketing agency, Irie Digital. After strugglin…