Please help me promote my new leadership book! The editing is nearly completed… Yeah!
Title: Objectives + Key Results (OKR) Leadership; How to apply Silicon Valley’s secret sauce to your career, team or organization.
1. The e-book digital release is available now. Pre-order here.
2. The paper and audible book releases will be available after 11.14.19. Please forward this page to your friends and colleagues today.
3. Share these testimonials:
“Doug’s leadership training of the OKR process has been received positively by my sales team due to the coaching being simple, engaging and very effective.” Terry Fortner, VP Sales and Marketing, North America LKQ Corporation.
“Doug Gray makes the complex understandable. More important, he makes it doable.” Craig E. Aronoff, Ph.D., author, Chairman and co-founder, The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.
“John Doerr’s book “Measure What Matters” describes how OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) transformed Silicon Valley. With this new book, Doug builds on the OKR approach with practical and valuable guidance for individuals, teams and organizations. If you plan on implementing OKRs for your organization, you need this book.” John Mattox, PhD, author, Head of Talent Research, Metrics that Matter, Explorance
“The top five companies in Silicon Valley have an economic value as great as the United Kingdom. They must know something. Doug has uncovered their secrets in his OKR Leadership approach.” Jac Fitzenz, PhD, author, Founder Saratoga Institute and Human Capital Source
“Doug Gray provides readers with a ‘moment of truth’ concerning how we can transform lofty objectives into down-to-earth results.” James Dillon, co-Founder, Emerging Step
“Introducing the OKR framework has not only allowed us to align our company goals throughout the organization, but it has also provided an easy mechanism to give visibility into how we drive operational accountability. That visibility now exists for both our employees and supervisors. OKR Leadership has encouraged broader and more in-depth conversations about the right key results to drive individual or team objectives.” Justin Jude, Acting President, LKQ Corp, North America
“Doug’s new book challenges me to be a leader and to practice leadership. This book provides a practical framework that will make you a more successful leader.“ David Cardwell, SVP, IT Operations, F100 company
“Finally, a much needed leadership focus on the importance of clear objectives and specific, measurable results. This book will be useful not just for the present but throughout a practitioner’s career.“ Dave Vance, PhD, author, Executive Director, Center for Talent Reporting
“In his new and exciting book, OKR Leadership, Doug Gray shares how his proven techniques can help you move the needle to achieve the business outcomes you’ve been striving for. If you’re ready for a transformation, then OKR Leadership is a must read!” Sheri Bankston, VP, Alliance Safety Council
“History is littered with the graves of organizations who had the right strategy but were unable to execute. Lack of execution is a very real threat to every organization’s survival. This is a very practical look at the OKR system to accomplishing results. Written incredibly clearly, Doug Gray has brought OKR Leadership to life in a way that would benefit any organization.” Brian Underhill, Ph.D., author, Founder and CEO, CoachSource
4. Share this back cover:
Leaders practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are the secret sauce that drives the largest migration of financial assets and technological innovation ever recorded in human history to Silicon Valley, California, USA, since the 1970s. OKR Leadership — the process for managers and leaders to practice what matters – is the secret sauce that drives transformational leadership, employee engagement and the next generation of management consulting. Join the OKR Leadership movement. See details at www.Action-Learning.com or www.OKRLeadership.com. This practical and valuable book will help you practice OKR Leadership in your career, team or organization immediately.
5. Invest in an OKR Leadership Workshop for your team or organization today. Programs are direct or virtual. See details at https://action-learning.com/product/my-book-objectives-key-results-okr-leadership-how-to-apply-silicon-valleys-secret-sauce-to-your-career-team-or-organization/
6. Learn about OKRs in the free course here.
7. Download Chapter 1 as my gift to you (below.) Then write a review in your favorite social media platform. Then forward this page to your friends and colleagues.
Thank you for your help!
Contact Doug Gray today for more exciting details. Contact Us or call 615.236.9845
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You have probably had the experience of teaching someone how to drive a car. If not, imagine the scene.
Your objective is to teach enough basic skills so that your loved one can drive away. You start by teaching safety protocols like “wear your seat belt” and “always keep two hands on the steering wheel at “9 and 3.” Then you explain the functions of the gas pedal, brake pedal, gears and all those shiny buttons on the dashboard. Then you offer encouragement as your loved one shifts into gear and drives from 0 to 30 mph within a minute. Your Key Results (KRs) often follow that formula “from x to y by date.”
Objectives are defined as “what you do.” They are qualitative and each person in the organization can write their own.
Key Results are defined as “how you measure that objective.” They are quantitative and answer the formula “as measured by.”
OKRs are defined as “a management methodology that helps people focus efforts on the same important issues throughout the organization.”
For a 3-minute excerpt of a keynote presentation on OKR Leadership that I provided in December, 2019 to over 700m business leaders in Denver, CO, click here.
The “Father of OKRs” title is attributed to Andy Grove, the founder and CEO of Intel. You may know that Andy literally wrote the textbook on semiconductors in 1967, well before Silicon Valley attracted the largest migration of assets in human history. You may also know that Andy wrote “Only the Paranoid Survive” in 1996, as a reminder of market volatility and the need to measure the details. His father was killed at Auschwitz, and he fled Nazism with his mother at age 20.
John Doerr worked for Andy. John learned how to implement OKRs. Then, in 1997, John made an $11.8M investment in 12% of Google when working as a venture capitalist at Kleiner-Perkins. The co-founders of Google wanted to organize data globally. When John introduced OKRs to Google, Larry Page said, “Well, we need to adopt some management approach.” The rest is history. I recommend John Doerr’s book, Measure What Matters, (2018) for examples ranging from the Gates Foundation to Bono.
Here are my examples of teaching OKRs to leaders in a small business and a large business.
I was consulting the CEO and owner of a $40M retail business that required succession planning to transition the next generation of leaders. At a management meeting I observed that the managers did not describe their business using any metrics. I asked the owner, “Where are the metrics that these managers are using to drive their business?” He sighed with fatigue, like so many small business owners. I provided OKR definitions and templates and a free course on OKR leadership skills that you can access here. Then I worked with several key managers. One manager’s objective was to increase profit margins by 6% Y/Y. KR1 was to identify current measures for sales, expenses, overhead, profit within 30 days. KR2 was to distribute a one-page business summary to all other managers within 40 days. KR3 was to track and reward increased profit margins within 60 days. The result of his OKR leadership was that he modeled accountability, transparency and business results for the other managers within 60 days.
I was consulting the president of a Fortune 500 business with $5B in annual revenue and over 10,000 full time employees in North America. Their 20-year-old company grew quickly as a result of acquisitions. The result was that silos of trust and information sharing were preventing consistent accounting practices. I asked, “How are you measuring your desired results?” He stuttered and said, “Not well. We increased revenue and retained a lot of good people but sometimes I wonder if we’re measuring what we need to be measuring.” I provided some OKR definitions and templates and vendor resources. Then he defined his OKRs and shared them with his top 60 leaders in a training that I delivered. Then I provided team coaching for those top 60 leaders so that they could cascade OKRs throughout their organization for three months. The results were uneven, as we expected. People were experimenting with the OKR language as if they were new vocabulary words. Three months of uneven applications passed. The OKR process gained momentum in the annual meeting when the president spoke to 650 of their top leaders. He declared, “As long as I’m in this role we are going to implement OKRs and increase our profit margins.” He shared his business OKRs. Minutes later, I followed him onto the main stage to introduce OKRs to those 650 leaders. I led demonstrations with 6 of his top leaders. Then I lead workshops to practice implementing OKRs within their organization. His KRs included training, technology, and rewards tied to increased profit margins. We are still assessing the impact of that OKR process.
The challenge of OKRs is not in introducing them as an initiative. Anyone can introduce an evidence-based initiative.
The challenge in the OKR process is adopting an ongoing cadence of accountability and rewards. Learning requires feedback. Managers, by definition, need to maximize the productivity of others. The core skill of managers is coaching. We trademarked the AD-FITTM coaching process to teach managers the required steps to provide feedback to others. Our experience is that those managers who adopt the AD-FITTM process accelerate the performance and behavior outcomes of others. For a free course on how to apply the AD-FITTM process for Managers click here.
Smart managers and leaders typically understand OKRs pretty quickly. The challenge is “in the details” as Andy Grove reminded us. Over 30% of the companies on today’s NYSE and F500 did not exist 20 years ago. There is no reason to assume that your organization should exist 20 years from now.
We should talk about your organization if you need to respond to market changes. If you would like a free course on OKR leadership skills with definitions and templates, then click here. We would be delighted to work with you.
Call any time.
Here are some gifts from 2018 that I’d like to share with you, my clients and associates.
I strongly recommend that you save this url in your contact for “Doug Gray” or “Action Learning Associates.”
You may want to download this new content and add it to your digital folder for “Action Learning Associates.” There are many great resources here!
Here’s to you, at your best! When playing with new friends like Spider Monkeys, or not.
Q4 included several customized leadership development workshops.
- One F500 client wanted to “develop a culture of fiscal accountability using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).” If you are a client and want to see the customized app that included that content please contact me here.
- One client wanted to “introduce positive psychology practices into their organization.” Over 1,300 people have viewed the content here.
- One F500 client wanted to “develop the executive presence and the reputations of their leaders.” A video of that content is here.
- Several small business leaders wanted succession planning content to accelerate their leadership to the next generation.
Q3 included trademarking the AD-FIT model for any managers or professional coaches to use.
- Many clients asked, “What works?” They needed a process or protocol to cascade consistent expectations to direct reports, to serve clients, to lead others effectively.
- A 90-second video explanation is at https://action-learning.com/ and here
- The AD-FIT process for external providers, consultants and coaches is at https://www.whycoachesfail.com/ .
- The AD-FIT process for managers and leaders is at https://action-learning.com/products/
- The AD-FIT Level 1 Certification Course is at www.WhyCoachesFail. If you are a client and would like free access please contact me here.
- Many consultants, managers and professional coaches have completed the AD-FIT Level 1 Certification Course. And I have been invited to share the AD-FIT model at the Metrics That Matter conference hosted by Explorance, in March, 2019. Contact me for licensing details.
Q2 included my PhD in Organizational Leadership dissertation defense from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
- My dissertation title was “Positive Psychology Coaching Protocols: Creating Competitive Advantage for Leader Development.“
- My abstract / summary was: A gap exists between positive psychology coaching (PPC) theory and practice because PPC lacks rigorous measurement, evidence-based protocols and standard processes. This quasi-experimental study assessed the relationship between PPC protocols and performance or behavioral outcomes of leaders. The participants were global professional coaches (n = 220) who completed two sets of surveys after delivering 90 days of coaching, and completed approximately 60 minutes of digital training. The primary assessments were (a) the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ-12), (b) the Values in Action (VIA-72) questionnaire, and (c) the Outcome Measures Survey that included the Goal Attainment Satisfaction (GAS) score. The PPC protocols included compliance using assessments, defining meaningful coaching outcomes, compliance over time, and compliance with the AD-FIT coaching protocol. Those participants with higher compliance to the AD-FIT coaching protocol (n = 16) reported slightly higher goal attainment scores than the participants with lower compliance (n = 18). Open text box analysis was conducted to deepen understanding of the relationship between participation and leader outcomes. The top two performance outcomes (n =100 responses) were increased productivity and focus. The top two behavior outcomes (n =115 responses) were improved relationships and effectiveness. The theoretical, methodological and practical significance of this research indicate opportunities to create competitive advantage in leader development.
- A riveting 60-minute video of the dissertation defense with research findings is hosted at https://www.youtube.com/user/dgrayful/videos
- In Q4 the dissertation was finally published online for researchers at ProQuest. If you’d like a copy in PDF please contact me.
- Yes, you may now call me Dr. Doug Gray, if you wish.
Q1 included a website redesign and marketing with new content.
- The most frequently visited page is https://action-learning.com/fee-ranges-for-leadership-consulting-services/
- The second most frequently visited page is https://action-learning.com/about/fee-ranges-for-coaching-services/
- The most popular blog and video is at What I Learned Last Week From A Fortune 100 CEO
A final note for your files…
All of you who are individual or team coaching clients are familiar with this new client intake document. Here is a very generous gift. When I work with leaders I ALWAYS use the AD-FIT process. Since 1997. It works. Outcome-based coaching is a straightforward process. I strongly recommend that YOU adopt the AD-FIT protocols. Click on the bullet below. Then download the content. Then use these 28 validated outcomes for executive coaching or business coaching. Leaders practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law.
A friend recently asked why I like to GIVE AWAY so much content to my clients and associates. I have several answers:
- You are my champions and buying agents who will download and share this new content as you see fit.
- My ancestors are teachers and ministers, accustomed to sharing practical knowledge. I know what works.
- I can share everything I know, and still know it. Wisdom is meant to be shared.
May you have an OUTSTANDING 2019!
Managers, by definition, must maximize the productivity of others. When we ask audiences, “How many of you are managers?” over 70% of the audience typically raise their hands. Many do not have the word “manager” in their title.
As managers, you know that it is your job to maximize productivity and outcomes from your employees. You need evidence-based best practices in leadership development. Today. And you need to demonstrate the ROI of that leadership workshop within 90 – 180 days. There is a myth that leadership development programs should only be scheduled in the spring and fall, to avoid conflicts with vacations. The reality is that leadership development workshops include both direct and virtual content that reinforces your outcomes. Our programs last 3-12 months. You should invest in a leadership development provider (like Action Learning Associates) because it is cost-effective and efficient. Your core business is something else. Our core business is to accelerate leader development.
Here are three reasons why YOU SHOULD invest in a leadership development workshop today.
- Investment in a leadership workshop should directly increase your team’s engagement
Leaders need to practice leadership, just as attorneys practice law and physicians practice medicine. Many studies have shown that when employees are engaged in leadership workshops they are then more likely to be engaged in the workforce. An employee who is more engaged is a) more effective at required tasks, b) more efficient on key performance indicators or objectives and key results (OKRs), and c) more likely to stay employed at your organization. Retention of desired employees is a requirement in today’s competitive Talent Economy. Be smart. You never want to retain average employees- but you DO WANT to retain 100% of your desired employees. And leadership development workshops are the most cost-effective way for you to increase retention of your desired employees. We recommend that 70% of your promotions are internal, to encourage career ladders and talent succession. We strongly recommend that you invest in 100% of your top performers with leadership development programs AT LEAST twice/ year.
2. Investment in leadership workshops can help you develop your workplace culture
Culture can be developed, and must be developed, in response to changing market demands. Ask anyone involved in leadership development coaching, and they will tell you that culture cannot be left to chance. That would be reckless. The academics describe culture as “how organizations function.” As an example, we recently provided a leadership development workshop around ONE objective, “to create a culture of fiscal accountability using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).” Let me explain…
Culture is best described using three overlapping circles. Label each circle as: 1) underlying assumptions, 2) espoused behavior, and 3) artifacts.
1) underlying assumptions are the shared beliefs of your organization, including history of acquisitions, traits of key leaders who get promoted faster, competencies of leaders with higher reputations, or that unspoken assumption you have about a market or colleague.
2) espoused behaviors describe what we say we do, including common phrases such as “I’ll solve this” or “that’s not my problem.” Notice the difference between what we say we do, and what we actually do.
3) artifacts are tangible symbols of the culture, such as a new National office in Nashville, TN for centralized services and consistent management of others. The cultural values posted in the lobby are artifacts of how you work.
Fact: All three of these aspects of culture can change quickly. Therefore, you NEED to invest in leadership development workshops to develop your desired organizational culture. Today.
3. Investment in a leadership workshop should improve employee morale
Many studies have shown that large organizations are investing less time, money, energy and training in their employees than they did 10 years ago. Professional development discretionary budgets have plummeted from over $10,000 per person in 2008 to $4,000 per person in 2018. Today, we invest more into maintaining cars and machines than we do in our most critical variable- people. That trend is reckless. If you are investing less in your people than you did 10 years ago then you are LITERALLY in a race to the bottom of your market. Look at the fact that only 35% of today’s F500 companies have been there for more than 50 years. If you want to increase employee morale, then you need to invest in your top employees. Nothing is a more critical investment. Today. Employee morale is NOT a lagging indicator. If you want to develop agile problem solvers, then you need to invest in leadership development workshops. You can make employee morale into a leading indicator. Today.
You should not invest in a leadership workshop IF you do not care about 1) employee engagement, 2) workplace culture, or 3) employee morale. We do NOT want to talk to you. We wish you Godspeed.
You should invest in a leadership workshop IF you do care about 1) employee engagement, 2) workplace culture, or 3) employee morale. We DO want to talk to you. Today.
We provide outcome-based leadership development workshops that guarantee your results. We deliver programs throughout the United States and Canada. We provide expert leadership coaching and executive coaching services, based in Nashville, TN or globally. We’d like to visit you ASAP.
If you are based in the Nashville, TN area then we are neighbors. See details for leadership training for your employees here. We’d like to visit you ASAP.