Remote OKR Workshops
Given all that is going on in the world right now, companies need OKR more than ever. Since traveling is not possible, I have moved all my engagements to a fully remote model that can be customized to meet your needs.
To create a remote engagement that works, I have taken the learnings developed from years of in-person teaching and training and adapted them for a distributed audience. My new live online workshops have all the content of my in-person training—including hands-on team exercises—delivered online over video conferencing and virtual collaboration tools.
My experience shows that training alone is not enough, as often the real challenge lies in making OKR work in real life—the “training and leaving” approach rarely works. That is why all my engagements also include follow-up coaching for at least one quarter to help you succeed with OKR.
The OKR Cycle
After training thousands of individuals around the world and seeing companies make the same mistakes over and over, I have created the OKR Cycle, a straightforward method to help organizations succeed with OKR. The OKR Cycle is the backbone of my approach, and it has just three steps, repeated every quarter: Set, Align, and Achieve.
- Set: Focusing on the outcomes that matter by having bidirectional conversations with employees.
- Align: Ensuring that each team aligns with the others and with the company strategy.
- Achieve: Creating a regular cadence to track your OKRs and quickly course correct.
All engagements are based on four core elements that we can customize to fit your needs: Training, Facilitation, Follow-up Coaching, and OKR Champions.
Training: The engagement starts with remote training workshops where attendees learn by doing through a series of hands-on activities around the core concepts of OKR. The workshop covers the most common pitfalls in OKR adoption and provides attendees with practical tools and techniques to help them succeed with OKR.
To keep remote attendees engaged, I broke down my one-day in-person workshop into five two-hour live online sessions. Class size is limited to 15 attendees to ensure high levels of attention for each student.
Facilitation: Facilitation is about helping attendees write great OKRs. A facilitation session is part of the remote workshop so that attendees leave the sessions with a solid draft of their OKRs.
Follow-up Coaching: Life is different outside the classroom, so providing follow-up coaching after the workshops is crucial to ensuring a successful OKR implementation. As part of every engagement, I provide remote follow-up coaching for the workshop attendees for at least 90 days to answer questions and to help them track their OKRs.
OKR Champions: OKR Champion is a part-time role that facilitates OKR adoption. OKR Champions are facilitators and internal change agents analogous to agile coaches or Six Sigma’s black belts and green belts. They are the go-to people for any OKR-related issue, and their mission is to ensure that the organization achieves continuous success with OKR.
During the workshops, attendees learn the core concepts of OKR through a series of hands-on exercises. The topics covered include:
- Introduction to OKR
- The most common OKR mistakes
- OKR Fundamentals
- Creating engaging objectives
- Key Results (Outcomes) vs. Activities
- The OKR Cycle: Set, Align, and Achieve
- Set: Focusing on the outcomes we want to achieve
- Align: Aligning the organization around the outcomes we want to achieve
- Achieve: Using the weekly cadence to track and improve OKRs
- Creating Better Key Results
- Replacing hard-to-measure indicators with proxy metrics
- Reducing feedback cycles with leading indicators and experiments
- Balancing OKRs to avoid perverse incentives
Depending on the audience and the allocated time, workshops can also include topics such as:
- The OKR Champion role and responsibilities
- Strategies for the OKR rollout
- How can leadership support the OKR rollout
The workshops can be customized for your specific needs, including options such as train the trainer, where we prepare the OKR Champions to train other employees.
Facilitation can take different forms depending on the engagement:
OKR Setting Sessions
I can facilitate OKR setting sessions either as part of the workshops or in standalone online meetings.
Refining and Aligning the OKRs
The attendees will leave the workshops with a solid draft of their OKRs and will need two to three weeks to refine them and ensure alignment with other teams. Using the techniques presented in the workshop, and with my help, they will map dependencies, create shared OKRs, and ensure both vertical and horizontal (cross-team) alignment.
Facilitation in the Train the Trainer Model
When using the train the trainer approach, the OKR Champions can host OKR setting sessions with the teams and then bring the OKRs for discussion during the OKR Office Hours (see below).
There are two main options for follow-up coaching, which can be customized depending on the audience:
Facilitated OKR Check-ins
In the direct training model, I will teach the attendees how to conduct the OKR check-ins, quick weekly ceremonies for tracking OKRs, which are at the heart of the Achieve step. I will also provide an OKR tracking template.
OKR Office Hours
In the train the trainer approach, we will hold regular OKR Office Hours calls (weekly or biweekly) during the engagement to provide coaching for the workshop attendees.
Regardless of the chosen follow-up coaching model, you will have unlimited access to phone and email to answer questions during the engagement.
One of the major challenges of any training or consulting engagement is perpetuating change and ensuring that the client incorporates it. To address this issue, the engagement includes the education of a group of OKR Champions, employees who will act as focal points for the OKR practice inside your organization.
OKR Champions are internal change agents that facilitate cultural change. Their mission is to ensure that the organization has continued success with OKR.
One of our goals during the engagement is to develop the OKR Champions so that they can lead the OKR practice. Therefore, they will be responsible for the day-to-day support for the teams, while being coached by me. The OKR Champions have to be part of the full online training sessions and also have to attend a 60-minute additional training session.
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