Measure What Matters: a different take on goals setting

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If you’re looking for a new take on goal setting (and achieving), take a look at the book, Measure What Matters, by John Doerr. I just read a synopsis and was intrigued by the way his system has you choose and monitor key metrics to keep you moving toward your goal.

His O.K.R. (Objective, Key Results) Goal Setting System has three key ingredients:

(1) An Audacious Objective. Set big goals that inspire you but that aren’t so big that you don’t believe you can achieve them.

(2) Quality and Quantity Key Results. Choose 3-5 metrics (e.g., revenue, new clients, referrals, new subscribers, etc.) that allow you to measure progress towards your goal.

Metrics should be quantitative, e.g., 100 new newsletter subscribers per month, and qualitative, e.g., from search terms like ‘divorce attorneys Orange County’–so you’re getting subscribers who are searching for an attorney to hire, not just looking for free information.

(3) Color-Coded Check-ins. Each week, month, or quarter, look at each of your key results and label them green, yellow or red.

GREEN: indicates you are 70 to 100% on target. Continue doing what you’re doing.
YELLOW: you are 30-70% on target. In this case, you should develop a “recovery plan,” to get back on target.
RED: you are 0 to 30% on target. Create a recovery plan or replace the key result with something different.

Doerr says that if one of your key results are almost always green, however, meaning you’re nearly 100% on target most of the time, your goals or the key results metrics aren’t challenging enough and you should adjust them to get a mix of green and yellow.

I like this system because it forces you to choose appropriate metrics, helps you monitor your progress, and allows you to change what you’re doing when you’re either not hitting your target or you’re hitting it too often.

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