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The Executioner's Tale

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Making things happen with OKRs! …

Making things happen with OKRs!

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  • Once upon ati me there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
    “Maybe,” the farmer replied.
    The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
    “Maybe,” replied the old man.
    The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
    “Maybe,” answered the farmer.
    The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
    “Maybe,” said the farmer.
  • When I joined Linkedin, many people said “huh, that’s interesting.” Many did not know why I’d join a resume site.
    When I joined Myspace, they said good luck. It looked hard, but possible.
    When I joined Zynga they all congratulated me on landing in one of the hottest spots in the valley.
    I’ve learned to say “We’ll see.”
    But one thing I did learn
  • Once upon a time there was a start-up.
  • Once upon a time there was a start-up.
  • This start-up has a vision to bring delicious artisinal loose-leaf tea to  fine dining restaurants and discerning cafes.  
    There were two founders.
  • Hanna was first-generation Chinese, and loved the tea she grew up with at her parents house. She despaired of getting a nice cup of green dragon well after a fine meal.
  • Jack was British, and equally miserable at cafes that could poach an egg perfectly yet thought earl grey was a who and not a what. They knew there were plenty of great tea producers. So they decided they would connect great tea with fine restaurants and cafes that were snobbish about coffee but ambivalent about tea.
  • And because they went to Stanford and could do math, they managed to raise a little money to make a go at it.
  • (because no one is dumb enough to start a company with their own money, right?)
  • After a happy six months decorating and office and hiring engineers and making a very pretty website where buyers could find tea producers and order tasty tea and giving away tea at tech meet-ups and even closing a few deals they started to feel a little uneasy. While they had another 18 months of runway, they wondered what was going on. They had many many little tea producers signing up, but only two buyers. A lopsided market is not a profitable market. Like good little founders, they decided to go out and sell more tea themselves, to learn more about the market! 
  • One day, Hann came back with a very big order from a distributor. This distributor sold tea to all kinds of restaurants, big and small, as well as canned good and dry goods and coffee.  Jack was both happy and alarmed! He was happy to see so much money about to come into the business, yet this was not TO PLAN. They were here to connect fine dining and fine tea!
    A few days later, Hann used her connections to close another deal with another distributor. It was a lot of money, but Jack was even more alarmed. This distributor did not want to use the nice self-serve website they built. Hann had to enter in their information by hand... and would every time they wanted to order! How would that scale? But it was soooo much money. and then she did it again and again.
  • Then, a few weeks later, Hann pulled Jack into their conference room. They had to kick out their lead programmer, as he liked to hide there to code quietly. Hann pointed out to Jack that they were doing better connecting to distributors seeking to up-scale their offering than cafes. That a single sale with a distributor resulted in more money per sales call. The restaurants didn't like like evaluating tea producers using the site either.  Perhaps it was time to rethink their market focus. They went back and forth for awhile, but Jack, because despite being a designer he could also do math, realized this might be a good choice. But before uprooting everything and telling new stories to the employees and hiring a salesperson, he suggested they talk with Jim Frost.
  • Jim Frost was the first angel who gave them money. He was a valley veteran, and had seem many companies go under as well as a few succeed.
    He was wise and insightful and could surely help the figure this out.
    They had to meet at a Starbucks near his office, which always made Jack have small quiet meltdowns inside. By the time they had finished talking Jim and math had them decided that selling to distributors that had relationships with retailers was the answer. They achieved product/market fit when they weren't even paying attention!
  • “I looked out the window at the Ferris wheel of the Great America amusement park revolving in the distance, then I turned back to Gordon and I asked,
    “If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what do you think he would do?” Gordon answered without hesitation,
    “He would get us out of memories.” I stared at him, numb, then said,
    “Why shouldn’t you and I walk out the door, come back and do it ourselves?” Andy Grove
  • Jim Frost was the first angel who gave them money. He was a valley veteran, and had seem many companies go under as well as a few succeed.
    He was wise and insightful and could surely help the figure this out.
    They had to meet at a Starbucks near his office, which always made Jack have small quiet meltdowns inside. By the time they had finished talking Jim and math had them decided that selling to distributors that had relationships with retailers was the answer. They achieved product/market fit when they weren't even paying attention!
  • Then, a few weeks later, Hann pulled Jack into their conference room. They had to kick out their lead programmer, as he liked to hide there to code quietly. Hann pointed out to Jack that they were doing better connecting to distributors seeking to up-scale their offering than cafes. That a single sale with a distributor resulted in more money per sales call. The restaurants didn't like like evaluating tea producers using the site either.  Perhaps it was time to rethink their market focus. They went back and forth for awhile, but Jack, because despite being a designer he could also do math, realized this might be a good choice. But before uprooting everything and telling new stories to the employees and hiring a salesperson, he suggested they talk with Jim Frost.
  • Jim Frost had another piece of advice
  • Now Hann and Jack were ready to focus the company on growth. And Jim had given them a little tool to help them with it.  It's called OKRs. 
  • Used at google
    Popularized form john doer
  • Then, a few weeks later, Hann pulled Jack into their conference room. They had to kick out their lead programmer, as he liked to hide there to code quietly. Hann pointed out to Jack that they were doing better connecting to distributors seeking to up-scale their offering than cafes. That a single sale with a distributor resulted in more money per sales call. The restaurants didn't like like evaluating tea producers using the site either.  Perhaps it was time to rethink their market focus. They went back and forth for awhile, but Jack, because despite being a designer he could also do math, realized this might be a good choice. But before uprooting everything and telling new stories to the employees and hiring a salesperson, he suggested they talk with Jim Frost.
  • Then, a few weeks later, Hann pulled Jack into their conference room. They had to kick out their lead programmer, as he liked to hide there to code quietly. Hann pointed out to Jack that they were doing better connecting to distributors seeking to up-scale their offering than cafes. That a single sale with a distributor resulted in more money per sales call. The restaurants didn't like like evaluating tea producers using the site either.  Perhaps it was time to rethink their market focus. They went back and forth for awhile, but Jack, because despite being a designer he could also do math, realized this might be a good choice. But before uprooting everything and telling new stories to the employees and hiring a salesperson, he suggested they talk with Jim Frost.
  • Dind’t make OKRS
  • Dind’t make OKRS
  • Jim Frost had another piece of advice
  • Tough guy but
  • Dind’t make OKRS
  • "We had some problems with the performance of the site""We had to deal with wrong orders and late deliveries to Los Gatos""I don't think we're marketing right""We didn't hire a second salesperson!"
  • Dind’t make OKRs
    "We had some problems with the performance of the site""We had to deal with wrong orders and late deliveries to Los Gatos""I don't think we're marketing right""We didn't hire a second salesperson!"
    RS
  • Once upon a time there was a start-up.
  • Transcript

    • 1. BETTER EXECUTION Makes dreams happen @cwodtke www.cwodtke.com
    • 2. hi
    • 3. I have worked many great places and done many impossible things. Along the way, I have learned important lessons I’m here to share, including…
    • 4. Don’t get sued
    • 5. Once upon a time there was a start-up.
    • 6. Hanna
    • 7. Jack
    • 8. (because no one is dumb enough to start a company with their own money, right?)
    • 9. Restaurant Suppliers
    • 10. Restaurant Suppliers? Hell no Let’s talk to Jim
    • 11. JimLet me tell you a story
    • 12. “I looked out the window at the Ferris wheel of the Great America amusement park revolving in the distance, then I turned back to Gordon and I asked, “If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what do you think he would do?”
    • 13. Gordon answered without hesitation, “He would get us out of memories.”
    • 14. “Why shouldn’t you and I walk out the door, come back and do it ourselves?” Andy Grove
    • 15. Jim “let’s pretend we’ve already decided”
    • 16. Hire a sales guy? Change the website… Hire a sales team.
    • 17. Restaurant Suppliers! Restaurant Suppliers!
    • 18. But wait, there’s more!
    • 19. OKRs Objectives and Key Results
    • 20. OKRs Objectives Key results
    • 21. OKRs O: Dream KR: Success criteria
    • 22. “Google did more than adopt it,” says Doerr. “They embraced it.” OKRs became an essential component of Google culture. Every employee had to set, and then get approval for, quarterly OKRs and annual OKRs.”
    • 23. OKRs O: Qualitative Shoot for the moon dream
    • 24. Objective: Establish epic value to Restaurant Suppliers as the best tea provider
    • 25. OKRs KR: Quantitative “How do we know we met the objective?
    • 26. KR: Reorders at 85% KR: 20% of reorders self-serve KR: Revenue of 250K
    • 27. Objective: Build an effective sales team AND Objective: Build a responsive customer service approach
    • 28. Objective: Build an effective sales team AND Objective: Build a responsive customer service approach
    • 29. Your turn! Objective: KR KR KR
    • 30. OKR Test Does it take a full quarter to achieve? Is it really hard? 50% Confidence?
    • 31. Credit: http://wklondon.typepad.com/Team reluctantly agrees Hell no
    • 32. Credit: http://wklondon.typepad.com/Team Wiffed ALL
    • 33. I want you to meet…
    • 34. Raphael
    • 35. You’re doing it WRONG
    • 36. CADENCE
    • 37. Commitment Mondays are for promises Fridays are for winners
    • 38. Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Priorities this week Next 4 weeks - Projects OKR Confidence Team Health: Distributor satisfaction Health: Health Yellow P1 P1 P1 Green Close deal with TLM Foods Team struggling with direction change 3 solid sales candidates in for interview Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head New Order flow Spec’d
    • 39. Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Priorities this week Next 4 weeks - Projects OKR Confidence Team Health: Distributor satisfaction Health: Org Health Yellow P1 P1 P1 Green Close deal with TLM Foods Team struggling with direction change 3 solid sales candidates in for interview Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head New Order flow Spec’d Commitmen t!
    • 40. Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Priorities this week Next 4 weeks - Projects OKR Confidence Team Health: Distributor satisfaction Health: Org Health Yellow P1 P1 P1 Green Close deal with TLM Foods Team struggling with direction change 3 solid sales candidates in for interview Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head New Order flow Spec’d Commitmen t! Heads up!
    • 41. Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Priorities this week Next 4 weeks - Projects OKR Confidence Team Health: Distributor satisfaction Health: Org Health Yellow P1 P1 P1 Green Close deal with TLM Foods Team struggling with direction change 3 solid sales candidates in for interview Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head New Order flow Spec’d Commitmen t! Heads up! Discussion & Support!
    • 42. Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Priorities this week Next 4 weeks - Projects OKR Confidence Team Health: Distributor satisfaction Health: Org Health Yellow P1 P1 P1 Green Close deal with TLM Foods Team struggling with direction change 3 solid sales candidates in for interview Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head New Order flow Spec’d Commitmen t! Heads up! Discussion & Support! Protect what matters
    • 43. DEDICATI ON TO YOUR GOALS TO YOUR TEAM
    • 44. Fridays are for Wins & Wine (or beer)
    • 45. Engineering demos
    • 46. Engineering demos Design demos
    • 47. Engineering demos Design demos Sales & Bizdev shares wins
    • 48. Engineering demos Design demos Sales & Bizdev shares wins Beer
    • 49. Everybody needs bragging time •Motivates team to have something to share •Makes you feel like part of something special •Show progress
    • 50. Credit: http://wklondon.typepad.com/Back to the Team We’re doomed
    • 51. You didn't make your OKRs…
    • 52. Credit: http://wklondon.typepad.com/ "I don't think we're marketing right" "We had to deal with wrong orders and late deliveries to Los Gatos" "We didn't hire a second salesperson!" "We had some problems with the performance of the site"
    • 53. It’s OK. We’re trying again… One OKR for quarter
    • 54. It’s OK. We’re trying again… Weekly check-ins One OKR for quarter
    • 55. It’s OK. We’re trying again… Friday Celebrations One OKR for quarter Weekly check-ins
    • 56. Team made 2 of 3 KRs!
    • 57. Metrics are growing!
    • 58. Series A
    • 59. Happily ever after?
    • 60. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE
    • 61. GOODBYE RATRACE
    • 62. OBJECTIVE: BE FINANCIALLY STABLE, PRESERVE HEALTH DO WORK I LIKE.
    • 63. KR: EARN 30K OVER THREE MONTHS DOING WORK I’D DO EVEN IF I WASN’T PAID
    • 64. KR: HAVE A MANAGEABLE BUDGET TO PREDICT EXPANSES
    • 65. KR: ZERO ACID REFLUX, ZERO BACK PAIN
    • 66. HELLO, DREAMLIFE
    • 67. Thank You @cwodtke www.cwodtke.com I coach teams and individuals to make dreams into realities. New Book coming soon! Get notified at alerts.theexecutionerstale.com
    • 68. Tips on OKRS • Set only 1 OKR for the company, unless you have multiple business lines. It’s about focus. • OKRs are not the only thing you do, they are the one thing you must do. Expect people to keep the ship running • Give yourself 3 months for an OKR. How bold is it if you can do it in a week? • Keep the metrics out of the objective. The objective is inspirational. • In the weekly check in, open with company OKR then do groups • OKRs cascade; set company OKRs, then groups/roles, and then individual’s. • Weekly OKR check in is a conversation. Be sure to discuss change in confidence, health metrics and priorities • Encourage employees to suggest company OKRs. • Friday celebrations is an antidote to Monday’s grim business. Keep it upbeat! Learn more: http://www.eleganthack.com/the-art-of-the-okr/
    • 69. Thanks to my awesome students in my Designer as Founder class. Especially An, Justin, and Jack for their lead roles. They were paid in pizza, just like a real startup. As Harry Max for not suing me when I use his picture.