Use OKRs to set goals for teams, not individuals

Objectives and key results (OKRs) have become a popular method teams use to plan for success and measure it. This framework has been so successful, Jeff Gothelf says, because it focuses on the impact of the work rather than the actual work itself. But when organizations apply OKRs to individuals, as some do, it presents two problems: Employees tend to create goals that are easy to measure but don’t actually determine whether they’ve grown or improved in a meaningful way, and they tend to choose targets they know they can hit, rather than taking a risk on something more ambitious. In this article, Gothelf shares examples detailing why OKRs don’t work for individual team members and identifies why this framework should be applied only to teams in the workplace.


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