OKRs: An effective goal setting method

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

The OKR method

How do you define success? A very important question, but definitely not an easy one to answer. Being able to articulate when there is success is crucial for any company. This is not only important for the Top Management Teams, employees must also have this in mind. The goal setting method: Objectives and Key result (OKR), widely used within Imagine, helps with this!

The OKR method is a quarterly goal-setting method that owes its name to the success Google has owed to it. OKRs are an effective tool for companies pursuing ambitious goals. This by asking two important questions: what do we want to achieve (objective) and how do we know if this goal is achieved (key result)? The strength of the method lies in its measurability, transparency and purposefulness.

History of the OKRs method

OKRs are very popular at the moment, but they are by no means new. In fact, the idea is more than fifty years old. OKRs as we know them today were first applied by Intel in the 1970s and are based on Management by Objectives (MBO), a 1954 theory by Peter Drucker.

The current popularity of OKRs is mainly due to John Doerr and Google. In 1999, John worked for one of the first major investors behind Google and was an advisor to the then still very modest internet company. John pitched OKRs to Larry Page, Sergey Brin and the rest of the team and they were immediately sold. In the years that followed, Google grew into the giant it is today.

Companies such as LinkedIn, Spotify, Twitter, BMW, Disney, Exxon, and Samsung already work with OKRs, and government companies such as the Chamber of Commerce have also implemented OKRs. So you don't have to be Google or any other tech company to successfully apply OKRs. However, OKRs work best in an environment where flexibility, collaboration and transparency are key.

Want to learn more about the OKR goal-setting method?: Why the secret to success is setting the right goals | John Doerr

Or feel free to contact our OKR expert


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