Measure What Matters
By John Doerr
I recently started consulting for a company where I was not familiar with the intricacies and specifics of their industry. I jumped in and began examining the basics of business administration and financial management quickly. Soon after, I had to ask about certain functions within the operations unit. I needed to help guide them to operate more efficiently and effectively but wasn’t sure where to start since I didn’t have direct experience in the field.
Leadership and management can often put you in these types of situations. I knew some improvements and changes could help this business, but I did not know the specifics. It is easy to neglect areas of business that you are not familiar with, especially if there are areas that you specialize in. Ignoring roles or functions as a manager or owner will lead to problems. There is a way to guide these functional areas even if you don’t yet know them as well as you would like.
One resource I use in these situations is the book Measure What Matters by John Doerr.
Doerr advised and invested in several Silicon Valley companies, including helping Google get started in 1999. Measure What Matters uses proven experience and shares the stories of how successful companies set goals and achieve success. Doerr reveals what he learned from Andy Grove at Intel and how these same concepts have led to success for Google and others.
The key insights in the book are objectives and key results, which Doerr shortens to OKR’s. Objectives are the what of your goals; they outline significant, action-oriented, and inspirational targets. Key results are the how. KR’s should be measurable, aggressive, time-bound, and realistic. OKR’s are not just goals written down and then checked at the end of the year. Measure What Matters outlines a continuous review and execution model that sets the tone for operational excellence and a culture of producing results.
The book outlines four superpower concepts that prove why OKR’s are a key way to run your business. The superpowers are:
- Focus and Commit to Priorities – What is important
- Align and Connect for Teamwork – Build a sense of ownership
- Track for Accountability – Be driven by data
- Stretch for Amazing – Stay motivated to excel
This book offers great stories if you like reading about successful companies like Google, Remind, and FitBit. Doerr’s stories reveal some of the work behind several tools and resources we use every day, like YouTube, Adsense, and more.
Measure What Matters is a helpful book if you want to set the right goals and help your business achieve them. I use some of the concepts to help me learn new industries and set a path for success with my clients.
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About Phil Klutts
Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.
Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.