When it comes to OKRs thought leaders, only two people come to mind. One of them is not John Doerr although he’s influenced both in their thinking about OKRs. The first is Ben Lamorte who has already been on our podcast. He’s an author and coach of OKRs consultants. The other person is someone who Ben said, “Mark, you need to watch Christina’s Wodtke’s, The Executioner’s Tale.” In this episode, her OKRs roots and her last book, The Team That Managed Itself are the key themes of our discussion with both Christina and Ben.
I do not want to upset any OKRs gurus, but Christina’s book, Radical Focus is my favorite book on OKRs – it was also the very first book on the topic.
In this episode, we were fortunate to bring on both Ben and Christina to talk about when to use and when not to use OKRs.
- Christina’s introduction to OKRs
- Ben was introduced to OKRs by Jeff Walker, the former CFO for Oracle
- Is this OKRs 1.0 or 2.0?
- Did consultants rush to the OKRs bandwagon too soon?
- Are OKRs consultants using OKRs when they shouldn’t?
- The distinction between results and health metrics
Introduction to The 4 E’s Product Portfolio by Christina Wodtke
Similar and inspired by the BCG Growth Matrix, Christina explained when to apply OKRs using the matrix below (used with permission):
In the matrix above, Christina explains that exploratory and hypothesis OKRs should be used in the Explore quadrant. Traditional OKRs should be used in the Expand quadrant. OKRs are not needed in the Exploit quadrant, just status metrics. It goes without saying that OKRs are useless if not senseless in the Exit quadrant. Instead, defunding should be the initiative.
The Team That Managed Itself
- Mark believes if Patrick Lencioni were writing a book on OKRs, it would be The Team That Managed Itself
- What are the 5 types of teams?
- Storming vs Norming
- Need to storm more often
- Workgroups are not teams and that’s important for OKRs coaches to understand
Eleganthack is Christina’s website and her blog posts are outstanding. You can read her LinkedIn posts by following her on her profile page. After listening to the show, consider reading her LinkedIn post, Designing High Performing Teams.
Christina’s other book is, Pencil Me In.
Ben Lamorte in my opinion is one of the most articulate and gifted coaches of OKRs. I never tire of listening to him. You can learn more about his work at OKRs.com. Ben is also the co-author of Objectives and Key Results my other favorite book on OKRs.
As mentioned earlier, I first became aware of Christina Wodtke after Ben recommended that I watch her video below, the Executioner’s tale. The entire presentation is great, and I especially like the four-square format for the weekly cadence that the teams at Zynga used when Christina worked there (around the 11-minute mark).