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Beyond KPIs and OKRs: Creating an environment for high-performing, innovative teams that leads to true effectiveness


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oo often innovative people in medium to large organizations have the feeling of being in a box - with startling new ideas - and no one really listens. In essence, these innovators are trying to “measure performance upwards.” This upward voice intrinsically measures strategies and customer impact, and applying the concept can significantly improve the overall performance without relying on top down OKRs and KPIs. Moreover, “measuring from above,” tends to measure the output of production rather than the truly important outcome: what is really making a difference for our customers and therefore for our company.

Adding “measurement from below” to a company can create a mindset that empowers everyone to follow their passion and interest and nourish the company’s effectiveness. Implementing a “from below” approach to measurement involves a fundamental shift that asks the company to synthesize a variety of new approaches. One such synthesis is Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, Sociocracy, and Agile (BOSSA nova). This synthesis enables a company to “measure upwards” without jeopardizing the strengths of “leading downwards.” Fortunately, the implementation can be done in small steps that probe and demonstrate new measurement ideas on a small scale such that the proof cascades beyond the demonstration. This session will enable you to get started on your journey to spreading the idea of upwards measurement company-wide.

This workshop asks participants to start where they are, explains what it means to probe, and helps them develop strategies and experiments they can use in their own situation to create an environment for high performance that goes beyond what OKRs and KPIs can offer.

Published in: Business
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Beyond KPIs and OKRs: Creating an environment for high-performing, innovative teams that leads to true effectiveness

  1. 1. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org1@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Jutta Eckstein | @juttaeckstein John Buck | @johnabuck @AgileBossaNova | #agilebossanova Beyond KPIs and OKRs: Creating an environment for high-performing, innovative teams that leads to true effectiveness Company-wide Agility with BOSSA nova
  2. 2. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org2@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Goal for the Workshop ■ Learn how to use something more effective than OKRs & KPIs how: – To use BOSSA nova for enabling people to use their full capacity with passion. – Trust unleashes a greater performance than control systems that use top-down measurement. – To get the full buy-in for necessary changes and thus faster delivery of the change. – To get top management buy-in by proving rather than asking!
  3. 3. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org3@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Agenda ■ Welcome & set the stage ■ Defining the context ■ Challenges for high-performing innovative teams ■ Values for company-wide agility as enablers for innovative teams ■ A new perspective ■ Using probes ■ Next steps & wrap-up
  4. 4. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org4@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Discuss & Note ■ In pairs/triples clarify your understanding of KPIs & OKRs (feel free to search the internet) – What are they? – How are they used? (In theory & possibly in your experience) – How do they differ? ■ Note on the jamboard
  5. 5. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org5@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck What? Challenges
  6. 6. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org6@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Discuss & Note ■ In your pairs/triples reflect, discuss & and note – How do KPIs & OKRs fit into the VUCA times? • What are your experiences with them (if at all)? • What are the advantages & disadvantages of each? • What assumptions underlie the use of KPIs & OKRs?
  7. 7. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org7@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck What Really Supports High Performance? ■ Find out what has supported or hindered creating an environment for high-performing, innovative teams – Individually: reflect on what has supported or hindered…. (5min) – In small groups: share the insights and common themes and come up with key challenges (15min) ■ Share in plenary
  8. 8. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org8@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  9. 9. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org9@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  10. 10. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org10@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  11. 11. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org11@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Gaining & Sharing Knowledge ■ In groups based on previous knowledge, the principles, your internet search, … – Choose one of the following topics: • Beyond Budgeting (Breakout Room 1) • Open Space (Breakout Room 2) • Sociocracy (Breakout Room 3) – Study how the topic supports high-performing, innovative teams. As a group (on the jamboard): • List 5-10 facts about the topic • Write a summary statement • Come up with max 3 questions you have about the topic
  12. 12. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org12@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Self-Organization ■ Accenture: – Frequent conversations (“check-ins”) – Realign goals to respond to change – Conversations focus on both reflection and future. The latter is stressed more ■ Equinor (former Statoil) – Individual performance goals can be changed by the teams but • They have to coordinate the change with other teams & • Big approvals require approval one level up
  13. 13. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org13@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Transparency ■ Endenburg Electrotechniek (Electrical Engineering) – 360 degree review in person • Not anonymous comments collected by a manager • In a circle: your supervisor, a peer to you, a couple of people reporting to you • Like a retrospective, – each person (starting with you) offers things you’re doing well (& the system is doing well) – each person (starting with you) offers improvements • Everyone consents to your development plan (and changes needed in the system) • The plan is approved by full circle
  14. 14. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org14@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Constant Customer Focus ■ Connect everyone’s work with customer needs; avoid conflicts of interest – “The purpose of business is to create a customer...” (Peter Drucker, 2006) – Everything done in an organization should add value for the customer, thus: • How does the performance support creating customer value? • Does the performance inspire others to create customer value? – As a team create a value stream and discuss: • How effectively are we creating customer value? • Where do we see conflicts of interests in our work e.g. selling to the customer instead of serving the customer’s needs?
  15. 15. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org15@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Continuous Learning ■ Cox Automotive – Framing goals to promote cross-functional collaborative teamwork – Learning and adapting goals throughout the year – Getting feedback on goals and development – A manager’s role in your Enterprise Agile ecosystem ■ Equinor (former Statoil)- Analogy of 100 meter sprinter – How you ran is different than the time you got. – The outcome is different from your process. ■ Link appraisal conversations to team retrospectives (Source: Agile People) – Invite team members to evaluate their contribution to the sprint
  16. 16. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org16@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  17. 17. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org17@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  18. 18. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org18@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  19. 19. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org19@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  20. 20. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org20@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  21. 21. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org21@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Is Trust Cheaper? ■ Background: – Traditional travel expense procedures are burdensome and assume people can’t be trusted. ■ Hypothesis: – Such procedures cost more than they save and are demoralizing. ■ Experiment: – Pre-survey and audit. Try for three months in a few units with other units as controls. Post-survey and audit.
  22. 22. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org22@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Can peer decision-making about promotion support alignment? ■ Background: – Even very egalitarian companies have hierarchies that require a promotion system. ■ Hypothesis: – If we use peer decision making to make decisions about promotions, we can separate performance review from decisions such as promotion that have an element of competition. ■ Experiment: – Pre-survey to assess opinion on promotion policy – Try with a group consent decision making for deciding on bonuses. – Collect spontaneous feedback and post-survey after 3 months. If satisfaction improved, extend to other groups.
  23. 23. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org23@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  24. 24. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org24@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Reflect On Your Situation ■ Choose the group with the key challenge, you’re most interested in and take time to reflect on your situation. – How are we thinking about our situation? • E.g., what are we assuming? • What would it be like if we didn’t make that assumption? – In general, don’t focus on something broad and big - if you make a probe on something small it’s more likely it will be useful (both for yourself and for others). – What is your challenge and what is it not? – What might be the source of the difference? ■ Be sure to keep notes
  25. 25. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org25@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Definition of a Probe ■ Probes are defined by small, safe-to-fail experiments based on hypotheses derived from reflection on the current situation as well as on theory.
  26. 26. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org26@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck COMPLEXITY Dave Snowden (Cynefin) | Ralph Stacey ● No agreement and no predictability means chaos ● Complete agreement is and predictability means “Simple/Obvious” ● Complex means can’t know cause and effect (only patterns) ● Probes start with “reflexive inquiry” (Thinking about how you are thinking.) Source: Dave Snowden © CC BY 3.0
  27. 27. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org27@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Complexity - Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) Model created by: Glenda Eoyang
  28. 28. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org28@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck
  29. 29. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org29@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Design of a Probe ■ Name of the Probe: – <A question that reflects your hypothesis, your curiosity> ■ Background: – <Define the context of your situation> ■ Hypothesis: – <Define what you expect to happen> – <Observable impact> ■ Safe-to-fail experiment: – <Define what do you want to try and how you can (dis) prove the hypothesis>
  30. 30. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org30@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Hypothesis & Experiments ■ The hypothesis – Should be an assumption / a statement about • What you expect to happen • Under such and such conditions ■ The experiment(s): – Its purpose is to test your assumption stated in the hypothesis – Need some kind of measurement (pre-/post) or comparisons with control groups – Need to be actionable by the author
  31. 31. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org31@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Create a Probe for a Key Challenge ■ In pairs/triples select a challenge and create a probe for that challenge – Background – Hypothesis – A plan for an experiment
  32. 32. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org32@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Measurement & Control ■ Video on controlled experiments: ■ Without comparison you won’t know what you learned – Pre- and post-measure for comparing results: • Measure your observation (stated in the background) • Use the same measurement after conducting the experiment – Controls for comparing results - if possible • Use two (or more) comparable groups • One group conducts the experiment the other (control group) does not
  33. 33. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org33@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Importance of Publication ■ Collaborative learning depends on sharing learnings ■ Publishing also contributes to the author’s learning – as an author you need to reflect and look at your learning from a different perspective
  34. 34. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org34@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Improving Your Probes ■ In your pair/triples work on your probe – Improve your hypothesis – Improve the experiment(s)
  35. 35. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org35@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Next Steps ■ What are your next steps? (note on jamboard)
  36. 36. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org36@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Creating an Environment for high-performing innovative teams
  37. 37. @AgileBossaNova | agilebossanova.org37@JuttaEckstein | @johnabuck Thank you so much and… Stay in Touch: Jutta Eckstein | @juttaeckstein John Buck | @johnabuck @AgileBossaNova | #agilebossanova Company-wide Agility with BOSSA nova