Nail on the head with this section:

"the creation of OKRs is seen as a rote activity to be undertaken to meet a managerial request so little attempt is made to have a solid causal chain and people external to the team do not understand the nature of the business well enough to critique causal claims. In many organizations, action is prioritized over understanding."

I've mostly seen the OKR template being used as a cover for cover for cohesive action and accountability in situations where there is no cohesion and where the participants in the OKR process are just paying lip service to the process - no belief or commitment.

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Having read at least 100 business leadership books over time, I find the book Measure What Matters by Doerr where he introduces OKRs is as badly misinterpreted and applied as any other (not saying you did that here) Half the time I hear some leader talking, realize which book they are referencing, and then just wait 30 seconds for them to totally miss the point.

Doerr talks about how OKRs need to be aligned. In fact, so much of his book is about just that. But I found at a Tech SaaS I worked at....they trail mixed the book (only took the bits they liked or could understand) The actual hard work of coordination when by the wayside, and the goal of a BHAD meant that "If we don't make it, we'll just change it" So it became a circle-jerk every quarter.

I find almost all leadership falls victim to three main fallacies that I capture here. These fallacies are also the failure in application of all these books. And all these books are, by and large, trying to overcome these three falacies.


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