Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs Hardcover – Illustrated, April 24, 2018
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From the Publisher
“Whether you're a seasoned CEO or a first-time entrepreneur, you'll find valuable lessons, tools, and inspiration in the pages of Measure What Matters. I'm glad John invested the time to share these ideas with the world.”
—Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn and author of The Start-up of You
“Measure What Matters deserves to be fully embraced by every person responsible for performance, in any walk of life. John Doerr makes Andy Grove a mentor to us all. If every team, leader, and individual applied OKRs with rigor and imagination, all sectors of society could see an exponential increase in productivity and innovation.”
—Jim Collins, author of Good to Great
“John Doerr has taught a generation of entrepreneurs and philanthropists that execution is everything. Measure What Matters shows how any organization or team can aim high, move fast, and excel.”
—Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.org and OptionB.org
“In this indispensable book, the most important venture capitalist of our era reveals a key to business innovation and success. This crisp and colorful book combines fascinating case studies with insightful personal stories to show how OKRs can add magic to organizations of any size.”
—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci
“I’m a big believer in John Doerr’s simple yet effective OKR system—I’ve seen it work firsthand! I encourage every business leader to read Measure What Matters in order to learn some real and practical secrets for success.”
—Anne Wojcicki, founder and CEO of 23andMe
“John Doerr has been the source of management magic for many of the most iconic companies in Silicon Valley that went on to change the world. Measure What Matters is a must read for anyone motivated to improve their organization.”
—Former Vice President Al Gore
“Measure What Matters takes you behind the scenes for the creation of Intel’s powerful OKR system—one of Andy Grove’s finest legacies.”
—Gordon Moore, cofounder of Intel
“Measure What Matters will transform your approach to setting goals for yourself and your organization. John Doerr pushes every leader to think deeply about creating a focused, purpose-driven business environment.”
—Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments
“John Doerr is a Silicon Valley legend. He explains how transparently setting objectives and defining key results can align organizations and motivate high performance.”
—Jonathan Levin, dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business
“Measure What Matters is a gift to every leader or entrepreneur who wants a more transparent, accountable, and effective team. It encourages the kind of big, bold bets that can transform an organization.”
—John Chambers, executive chairman of Cisco
“In addition to being a terrific personal history of tech in Silicon Valley, Measure What Matters is an essential handbook for both small and large organizations; the methods described will definitely drive great execution.”
—Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud
About the Author
- Item Weight : 15.7 ounces
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525536221
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525536222
- Dimensions : 5.76 x 1.06 x 8.53 inches
- Publisher : Portfolio; Illustrated edition (April 24, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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1)Set goal (Objective)
2)Set tasks to achieve this goal (key results)
3)Make the tasks measurable
This is the OKR.
There. Saved you a few hours.
Interseting stories about some successful companies, other than that, I got very little out of this.
For some weird reasons, I did not enjoy reading the examples very much. Probably because of a mismatch between the book title and my expectations.
I was expecting more of a guide to defining great OKRs within an organization - more of a handbook or practical best practices kind of resource. Such as, how do you define KRs for a software development product? How do you balance between top-down and bottom-up ideas in the OKRs definition process? Etc.
In the end, I felt that some of the examples, especially the OKRs in some of the examples, were lacking in terms of practical details. They were more like stories to demonstrate the versatility of OKRs. And some of the KRs did not seem very measurable to me.
The resources at the end was useful.
Overall, I felt that the book could have been more concise, and the resources at the end could be elaborated more.
Some of the best parts of the book are the mini case studies from a variety of companies. One of the biggest complaints I hear from founders about OKRs is that it works for Google because, well, Google is *Google*. By letting you hear from founders in their own words - from small startups to fast-growth startups to non-profits - John makes it easy for the reader to model how OKRs could work at their company. It's not just Google: Doerr shows how any ambitious, outcome-oriented organization can benefit from implementing OKRs.
Anyone who wants to understand what makes Silicon Valley tick will learn a lot from this book. So many of the giants from the last fifty years are captured in these pages – as relayed by John, their commitment and ambition shine through. John makes clear that they also shared an embrace of a simple framework for setting goals and communicating throughout their organization – which should be encouraging for any founder who wants to know how to build similarly effective organizations.
(Disclaimer: a brief anecdote involving me is included in the book. I didn't tell John I was writing this review ahead of time - I bought the book last night and wanted to share my thoughts.)
Top reviews from other countries
Sadly the book fails to go into any depth about how to make the most important phase, implementation, possible. There are also 2 concerns which really calls into question the practicalness and authenticity of the book.
1. John recommends that we separate OKRs from employee compensation/bonuses. That's fine - I'm willing to give that a shot. But doesn't actually say what a practical alternative approach should actually be. He mentions that instead of combining performance reviews, goals, and bonuses into one group... they should be 3 separate groups (performance reviews = feedback sessions, goals = OKRs, bonuses = bonuses) which form part of your judgement on whether to give bonuses or not effectively taking the hard facts out of how compensation is given and making it based on opinion. Exactly why he says later in the book that annual performance reviews don't work! (because they're based on opinion).
2. The more alarming issue is that towards the end of the book John very coyly mentions that BetterWorks' software is helping companies adopt the OKR methodology more effectively and that organisations should really think about what tech they can use to make sure OKR adoption succeeds in the business. John fails to disclose (at least during that chapter) that he in-fact is an investor in BetterWorks! The book basically feels like a 280 page whitepaper written to desperately try to help BetterWorks get more sales.
If you want to learn more about OKRs and how they work, there's a great 50 minute YouTube video by Google about how they use them. Save yourself the money and time and watch that instead.
The book basically just says prioritize, take care of goal conflicts, have some safe, some stretch and limit your goals.
None of the stories tell what problem OKRs actually solved, how the right OKRs where found and if OKRs made a difference at all. The book does neither give a framework nor an actionable approach to triage the right things to measure.
If the objective of this book is to help people utilizing OKRs in practice, the (key) result is a spectacular failure.
John Doerr philosophy of "Ideas are easy . Execution is Everything" is interwoven throughout this the book. This is a reassuring theme of other books and I remembered this idea being put forward in Sir Ronald Cohen's The Second Bounce Of The Ball: Turning Risk Into Opportunity .
John Doerr's book is truly exceptional, detailing how he brought the concept of Objectives and Key Results to Google, something he used at both Intel and Sun.
As with his philosophy, the execution of defining both Objectives and Key Results is the main focus and through the many case studies which he features in his book as to how the strategy has been successfully implemented in other well known and successful technology companies, this is clear in the Google OKR playbook section near the end of his book where he says Objectives and Key Results written poorly are a waste of time.
This book will be of most use for those involved in technology startups, like myself because the examples given are directly applicable to familiar concepts like agile and continuous improvement and iteration however any business owner or manager, who truly wants to grow their business will find this book useful.
To judge by the people whose testimonials he has drafted to bolster / showcase the validity of his method (Objectives and Key Results, OKR for short), he was clearly running out of time to do so: sure, the foreword for the book was penned by none other than Larry Page, but Bill Gates and Bono are no longer red hot, let us say.
I did almost cry when I realized what Nuna means in Korean and how it relates to the name of one of Doerr’s latest investments, but the next Google or Sun Microsystems it ain’t and neither is robot-made pizza. And the main reason I almost cried is I read this on the airplane.
For a reason: this is airplane reading!
To wit (and I quote from page 273):
Four Superpowers of OKRs
1. Focus and Commit to Priorities
2. Align and Connect for Teamwork
3. Track for Accountability
4. Stretch for Amazing
Continuous Performance Management
Importance of Culture
---> Not something you’d be want to be caught reading on terra firma, then. Or underground, on the tube, for that matter!