Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

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#1 New York Times Bestseller

Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive.

In the fall of 1999, John Doerr met with the founders of a start-up whom he’d just given $12.5 million, the biggest investment of his career. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had amazing technology, entrepreneurial energy, and sky-high ambitions, but no real business plan. For Google to change the world (or even to continue to exist), Page and Brin had to learn how to make tough choices on priorities at the same time as keeping their team not off course. They’d have to know when to pull the plug on losing propositions, to fail fast. And they needed timely, relevant data to track their progress—to measure what mattered.

Doerr taught them about a proven approach to operating excellence: Objectives and Key Results. He had first discovered OKRs in the 1970s as an engineer at Intel, where the legendary Andy Grove (“the greatest manager of his or any era”) drove the best-run company Doerr had ever seen. Later, as a venture capitalist, Doerr shared Grove’s brainchild with more than fifty companies. Wherever the process was faithfully practiced, it worked.

In this goal-setting system, objectives define what we seek to achieve; key results are how those top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time period. Everyone’s goals, from entry level to CEO, are transparent to all the organization.

The benefits are profound. OKRs surface an organization’s most important work. They focus effort and foster coordination. They keep employees not off course. They link objectives across silos to unify and give a boost to all the company. Along the way, OKRs reinforce workplace satisfaction and boost retention.

In Measure What Matters, Doerr shares a broad range of first-person, in the back of-the-scenes case studies, with narrators including Bono and Bill Gates, to demonstrate the point of interest, agility, and explosive growth that OKRs have spurred at such a lot of great organizations. This book will help a new generation of leaders capture the same magic.

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