Measure What Matters, written by John Doerr, a successful investor and a venture capitalist, provides us with strategic thinking on how to how to set goals effectively and measure what really matters.
I think, the best recommendation I could put here are words of Larry Page, a co-founder of Google, who once said that he wished he had this book 20 years ago when they founded Google.
The book focuses on OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) a goal system used by Google, Intel, Oracle, LinkedIn, Sears and many other companies to create alignment, engagement and clarity around measurable goals. It is a collaborative goal-setting protocol for individuals, teams and companies.
First, the book determines four “superpowers” to focus on as the outcome of OKRs. They are:
Next, John Doerr explains how to implement the OKR system to maximise its benefits so in six steps you should:
Then, the book talks a lot about what most of us know, that goals should be SMART. It uses interesting examples which put extra light on how to set goals and make it even more applicable in a different context. If you don’t remember what SMART means, here you have a clue:
S – Specific to know the goal
M – Measurable to track results
A – Achievable to aim what’s possible
R – Relevant to improve a business in some way
T – Time-bound to be specific on a timeframe
The book also calls for changing organizational structure and HR based on continuous improvement through OKRs. The new system should be built on fast feedback cycles between a manager and a report based on OKRs that empowers employees to hit their top priorities. The book also argues that processes like annual performance reviews become outdated.
Jim Collins said that this book “deserves to be fully embraced by every person responsible for performance in any walk of life”. There is not much to add. I highly recommend this book to anyone in a leadership position, who wants to know how to set goals to raise his performance and lead his team more effectively. The book might work well in huge organisations struggling with goals setting process, as well as, to small start-ups. I’d even risk stating that these small organisations would benefit much more as the book provides a framework for building a culture around goals.
Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs
by John Doerr
Size: 320 pages
Other information and reviews of this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39286958-measure-what-matters
Other useful links:
John Doerr on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doerr
Doerr’s website about the book: https://www.whatmatters.com/
Other great books about setting goals: The New One Minute Manager, The Spirit of Kaizen by Robert Maurer