Work and business in Thailand – An article serie

(Part 3)

By: Tom Stenshavn

Using OKR`s in your business


OKR´s = Objects & Key Results

We all want a meaningful workplace with good colleagues who work together about creating a culture of mastery that wins out in the market. This is done through personal and professional growth and development together with a leader who has trust and integrity, who is respected and who leads as a good example.

OKR´s is not a quick fix and that is why it will also take you a few minutes to read this article. Are you one of those who care about your own personal and professional development, then this is well invested time. Are you one of at least 80% who only go to work for only your pay check, and would love to work and do anything just for the money, then do not spend time on this article. It’s not for you…

But if you are someone who wants both personal and professional development, maybe learn something new and in addition both build up competence and get some good input, then you are on the right track!


OK, Let`s go….!

Do we need OKRs when we have a KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and isn`t OKR just a clever way to write about the S.M.A.R.T model (? Can we not just raise the KPI and push the employees to deliver better? Is there really any intention to pay for expensive courses and services when the vast majority of change measures are back where they started shortly after? These are some of the questions we always have on this topic. In this practical article you will get both answers to this and also what you need to get started with OKR´s. This article will also – if you use it to be a powerful antidote to change processes that do not work or you always go back to where you started.

So, what does it really take to succeed with OKR´s, because if it was easy then everyone would use it…?


Whether we succeed with OKR`s or other change models depends on 3 things:

1, the extent to which we are able to make the goals meaningful to us

2, the extent to which we are able to select and then further develop the right activities

3, to what extent we manage to keep the activity running over time and change the context…


I will share two examples of how goal setting and implementation with OKR`s can used through and this you will see the difference in KPI, S.M.A.R.T. and OKR´s. One example is in sales and one is in personal development. This is to show the strength of OKR´s and that the methodology is at least as suitable in personal development as in sales and goal achievement in business.


What is OKR`s?

OKR is an abbreviation for Objective & Key Result. The object is the goals to be reached and they must be large and demanding. We set a bold goal by being idealistic rather than realistic, not as we do in the KPIs.

OKR´s are used to create better goal achievement by linking values ​​and attitudes to the achievement of goals, and further develop the specifics that the actions need to achieve the goals. OKR is meant to set strategy and goals in a specified time period for an organization and/or team and measure the activities that leads to the organization’s goal achievement.

The essence here is that it must be done throughout the organization, and also include the development of values and attitude and measure the specific activities and not just the achievement of goals alone.

The achievement of goals and achievements through the use of OKR´s will be a consequence of the development of learning objectives and the implementation of proper activities.


This gives the company an extra bonus in the form of:

1, higher goal achievement than when using the KPI

2, a significant increase in competence

3, significantly better well-being and less stress factors


But isn`t this what we get by using KPI`s…?

KPI`s may be thought of as such. But the KPI is key indicators to measure results such as time, sales and direct goal achievement over already known factors and concrete goals. All of these are crucial success criteria for the company, but it says little about how we safeguard values ​​and how we get to the goals. In addition, OKRs inspire to a much greater extent collaboration, innovation and

learning new tasks than the KPI. As mentioned, the KPI is intended as such, but rarely works

like that in practice as it is easier to run solo races. OKR also pre-supposes cooperation from the

top and down, and make all parts of the organization be involved in the process.

Especially with OKR`s is also that the object or goal is what we want to achieve, rather than

what we know we can achieve. The object/goal we are going for must be so large that we

must stretch and evolve to achieve it. Key Results are described as how we reach the goals, – that our learning goals and activities and pointed to the actual 3 – 5 actions that make a difference. The Key Results must also be measurable.

There is a significant difference between going for goals that we know are within reach through

¨do more of what we already can¨, and to go for goals that are so big that we know we have to

develop to reach them. Along the way, it is common (and also necessary) to make some mistakes

and we will experience:


  • * failing* ourselves forward
  • off-learn and re-learn what we know
  • learn new things, innovate and further develop
  • get frustrated and tired of working outside the comfort zone
  • need for external follow-up for both professional and personal development


By continuing until we master and break the code of learning, even better communication

and delivery we will also experience this:

  • significantly higher goal achievement
  • great professional and personal development in the team
  • increased well-being, less change in staff and low sickness absence
  • closer and closer collaboration and a more trust-based relationship between leader and team

since the leader really needs to be hands on in all stages throughout the process.



The objective: WHAT do we want to achieve?

We find goals that are significantly higher than what we know we can achieve, and scale them down so they are within reach.


The point of this is that:

1, the goals should feel attractive and be in line with our values.

2, we must evolve to reach the objects we aim for.

3, all the activities we do must MEAN SOMETHING for the achievement of goals and they must be



Tip: ask yourself:

– If everything was possible and I was freed from limitations, what goals would I set?

– If I had a unique opportunity to be the best in the world, what would it be?


After defining a goal that inspires you, scale it back to a step less than being impossible. Your goal must be significant and inspiring, however credible.


Practice using Objects & Key Results

Here are two examples of how goal setting and implementation with OKR`s can be

used. One example is in sales and applies for a shorter period. The second example is exercising sports.

The last example is otherwise highly relevant as a team and leadership development if we replace Object with: development of learning and mastery culture / trust-based leadership development / sales development or something else that is a little more long-term than increase sales and that will necessarily take a little more time.


  1. Example – Objective: Double sales from 500 to 1000 units


Weak Key Results:

– Cold calling to potential customers from a list.

– Higher bonus for goal achievement and peer pressure to reach the goals.


Medium Key Results:

– More(!) Cold calling than before to new potential customers.

– Marketing by posting newsletters on LinkedIn and FB.

– Cold calling to previous customers with a fantastic new offer.


Strong Key Results:

Find out which 3-5 activities increase sales.


– Set up a new pointed and paid advertising campaign directly to previous customers.

– Publish three blog articles that will provide 2K monthly organic visitors to your website.

– Increase your blog’s conversion rate by 10% with new registration forms.

– Conduct a cold call campaign and talk to 400 potential customers.

– Learn and implement 3 new things that increase the cooperation and unity in the team.

– Reduce mistakes and learn new and right actions that increase sales.

– Do basic research on past and present customers’ needs, what they probably will need and when they will appreciate a phone call from you.

– Find out the customer’s 3 most important purchase criteria (what they want) and also what they need.

– Introduce and DO problem-solving sales procedures for and with the customer.


All key activities are measured by the individual seller. Each seller is responsible for

making adjustments and also to request input from others in the team and/or from the leader.

The sales manager follows up (at least weekly) and checks in with all the sales people where they are in their processes, provide input through coaching and help them follow the procedure.


  1. Example – Objective: Lose 10 KG in a month

Let’s say you are highly overweight and you want to quick start your weight loss by losing 10 kg in the first month, then after that slow it a bit down and lose an additional 15 kg in 6 months.


Weak Key Results:

– Eat less

– Do morning walks 3 times a week


Medium Key Results:

– Eat less and only between 11 AM and 7 PM

– Start a weight loss program found online (costs money and do seldom work in the long run)

– Do morning walks 3 times a week


Strong Key Results:

– Start learn about carbs, sugar and insulin resistance online on YouTube (free)

– Eat only healthy foods, and eat only 3 times a day (optimize it to be between 11 AM and 7 PM)

– Cook your own healthy foods and use what you have learned online on YouTube (free)

– Do your morning walks 2-3 times a week but not less than one hour walks

– Start in a gym and let a personal trainer help you with increasing your gym-goals in the right pace

– Weigh yourself every 3 days, see if the weight loss is going the right way. If not, adjust and research what you can do better compared to the last period. Always measure and document your training and food.

– After the first month, set new goals for your training until you lost all your 25 KG`s in 6 months

– Follow your new lifestyle with lifestyle goals to not gain your weight back.


With these OKR`s you might need someone to help, support and follow up from an outside perspective


Many claim that as much as 90% of all change initiatives fail. Researchers that has taken the time to study the real effects of different types of exercise and development programs such as sales training, management training and others. Development programs like LEAN, agree that most are wasted and money is thrown out of the window, but they do not quite agree on how wasted it is…

(The Change Code, pp. 10 – 11, Hegnar Media, Jon Ivar Johansen (Norwegian))


The point of addressing this in an article about change is to solve this as the problem. And so far we have gradually solved that by going from weak to strong Key Results, and now we take it one step further.


How do we measure this?

A strong set of objects or dimensions are specific and measurable quality and quantity measures.

When we have important measuring results of quality and quantity, we see what works of activities and we save time.

Key results are like measurements on the dashboard of our car. We would like increase the average speed while maintaining the speed and engine temperature low so that we can get to our destination as efficiently as possible. To do the measurement easier we use colour coding.

Regular check-ins for colour coding will hold us responsible for setting both important performance targets that challenge us and also so that we make progress with the results.

We choose the time frame based on which Key Results we go for and it can be both day, week, month, quarter or year. Now we look at how well we have performed and which calculation we have received on each of the Key Results we chose, we mark them with their own result under green, yellow or red.

Regular check-in of colour coding will hold us responsible for setting challenging performance goals and make progress on the Key Results. Every week, month or quarter (you choose the time frame based on your OKR`s), look at your results and note each result green, yellow or red.


  • ➢Green means that we are 80% -100% on the tasks and we will continue with what we do.
  • ➢ Yellow means that we are 20% – 80% on the tasks, and we must develop, learn what is needed and adjust the strategy.
  • ➢Red means that we are 0% -20% on the tasks, and we must develop a change-plan, change the whole plan and/or change the actions.


It’s not necessary to hold on to a goal or action that does not work. – remove it from your list and move on. Our goals are servants to our purpose, not the other way around.


Remember: If we get 100% on all Key Results, we have saved so much that we have really failed. We should aim for a mix of yellow and green Key Results. With an average score of 80% goal achievement. When the goals are significantly higher than what is realistic to manage is 70% good also.


The way forward to succeed with OKR`s


We have now found this together in order to succeed with OKR`s or other modification models so

Going forward depends on 3 things:


1, the extent to which we are able to make the goals meaningful to us

2, the extent to which we are able to select and then further develop the right activities

3, to what extent we manage to keep the activity up and running over time and change the context


Many of us, myself included, are unable to sustain change for very long at will. The most people who start change processes on their own stop somewhere in level medium of Key Results. This is where we will really get paid if we continue a little longer, however it is also the stage that requires the arrival of external help.

The fastest way to better results and experiences is through collecting expertise and get help to set up training for each individual in the team and leader(s).

In order to get the best possible payoff, it is strongly recommended to work with someone who

can both personal and professional development, who themselves have personal experience with deep personal processes and that go well with both team and management.

Anyone can set up Weak Key Results, many can get started Medium Key Results, but the little extra is needed to keep the process going with Strong Key Results over time. For a company that wants higher goal achievement, growth over time and well-being / stable conditions for the employees are OKR´s, professional and personal development and external guidance and training a necessity. Through a collaboration it is created safe frameworks and can deliver something together that reaches a little further than what was yesterday.


What we need to develop is:

A meaningful workplace with good colleagues who work together to create one culture that wins out in the market. This is done through personal and professional growth and development together with a leader who has confidence, who is respected and who walks in front as a good example!


Get in touch for what I can offer and what we can do together.

Do you want help getting started or for follow-up?


I adapt the OKR training course within:

  • Personal and professional development
  • Development of learning and mastery cultures
  • Implementation of modern sales processes
  • Trust-based leadership development
  • Continuation of processes


All work is summarized under supervision, teaching and lecturing.

Do you have goals that should have been reached or problems that should have been solved?

Get in touch for a non-binding pleasant chat and we will find solutions that suit you!


Best Regards

Tom Stenshavn

Advisor and solution coordinator


P: +66 (9) 888 12084