Accountability, Alignment and Ambitious stretch through OKRs
I have been on Maslow and SMART, teaching them for quite some time and somehow, they were not exciting me enough. Facing a wet weekend, mind going blank for fresh ideas, I turned towards my fellas for some brain wave moments and to get wiser as has been the practice in recent years. Living in the intellectually golden age, with a much-advanced IQ, reflecting not necessarily only in academics but in critical thinking and learning new skills with the greatest agility, the discourses that I strike up are enriching and provide me succor in class.
The emphasis on putting theory into practice remains the cornerstone of teaching, because of the oft repeated laments from the students on “why are we learning this? It is never used anywhere!” The anecdotal experience has taught me that only a small minuscule percentage is learnt through formal training in concepts while most of it comes from purposeful learning.
Purposeful learning starts quite early in life, mostly happens without intention, knowledge and requirement. The days when children start playing with putting colourful rings in a column or the building blocks that not only teaches gravity and balance but problem solving and decision making skills or the mechanix sets that triggers the innovative thought process in design and engineering, these childhood toys expand the capacity to explore and stretch their imagination.
Developing versatility, intuition and agility can be possible if we move from level one of comfort; with adequate content and myriad questions, responses and reactions to level two of stretch; where the situation is daunting, challenging and can put the learners in overdrive. The constant pushing the limits will make the students to hitch their wagons on stars thereby expanding the comfort zone like the universe.
This stretch exercise stands them in good stead early in their jobs as well yielding greater productivity and performance. Modern day performance assessment is on the threshold of a revolution, tying the individuals with goals that call for frequent, regular and immediate feedback and reviews. Seeing instant progress in goals has become the new norm with Objective and Key Results or OKRs that have added a dash of colour to SMART with the possibility of communicating the key metrics almost instantaneously making us nimble, agile and aligning to the organization’s structure. Leaning heavily on transparency with sound clarity on the objectives, OKRs have weaned the teams away from the traditional top down approach of goal setting to a more collaborative model of tactics and strategies syncing with each other effortlessly.
Breaking down our stretch objectives in relevant time duration calls for exceptional focus wherein the goals with key deliverables in the form of metrics can be measured, merged and aligned well with the goals of the organization enabling better performance with an aura of inclusivity. Redefining Maslow’s sense of belongingness by commitment on account of accountability, alignment and ambition through a combined and shared platform of expertise, skills and resources.