Risk gets a bad rap.
Instead of focusing on where a risk could go wrong, establishing a goal framework and transparent tracking enables us to see risk-taking’s benefits: innovation, improvement, competitive differentiation and, ultimately, positive impact to the bottom line.
We’re making a case today for the role of risk in business, supported by results from our 2021 Goal Management Report and survey.
When teams don’t feel psychologically safe, clear on their organization’s broad vision and goals, and empowered to take intentional risks (key word, intentional), innovative thinking and doing withers on the vine. There is a stark difference in risk perceptions between employees with a goal framework in place, and those without.
According to our survey, 73% of employees who use a goal framework feel empowered to take risks despite the chance of failure. In comparison, only 53% of employees who don’t use a goal framework could say the same.
In this case study with Trend Micro, VP of of Hybrid Cloud Security Adam Boyle shares the benefit of implementing a goal-setting structure, specifically for OKRs, in his organization.
Teams from across the globe also are now empowered to work toward a common vision and goal. OKRs have also helped Adam create a culture where team members feel safe enough to fail. “This psychological safety plays a huge role in shaping our culture and fueling innovation.”
Without a structure in place for setting and reaching goals, employees lack ambition to innovate and are hindered by a fear of failure. In contrast, employees working toward set goals are engaged enough to worry about whether they’ll reach them and empowered enough to take the necessary risks to get there.
So how do you build a culture of high psychological safety and mutual accountability? How do you enable your people to feel comfortable setting stretch goals and potentially failing at them?
That’s because Ally.io has built-in features that use progress (or a lack thereof) to inform future successes: integrations with the tools you already use, like Slack and Microsoft Teams; notifications make updating progress a habitual activity for every employee. This sets your team up for weekly, monthly, and quarterly reviews, where there’s ample opportunity to reflect on the work that’s being done, address setbacks or blockers, and adjust accordingly.
At the end of a cycle, all OKRs get reviewed and scored on how well an objective was accomplished. This is a thorough exercise that occurs throughout the organization. In some cases, objectives don’t get completed. In our world, that’s alright. OKRs that are still a priority can rollover to the next planning cycle.
Agility normalizes failure within an organization, making it an accepted and anticipated part of business operations rather than an end-all event. In doing so, employees are able to operate within a culture that’s set up to take risks and learn from the outcomes. In the long run, this OKR journey–one that’s empowering, agile, and informative–can bring an organization incredible success.
Interested in reading success stories from companies like Overstock, Rakuten, and BetterCloud who have used OKRs to fail forward? Check them out here.
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