The Gametize Fireside Chat Series: Gamifying OKR
A Conversation with Antara Telore, Head of People Success at FocusU
To bolster our continuous learning, Gametize has been hosting these Fireside Chats with subject matter experts on a regular basis. The most recent, on the 24th February 2023, we were honoured to have Ms. Antara Telore of FocusU to talk about OKR and her experience driving the OKR implementation at her organisation.
As Antara would define it, OKR – or Objectives and Key Results – is essentially a goal-setting framework meant for the organisation, teams and individuals. The unique bit about OKR is that it encourages the organisation to set its sights on “Moonshots”, otherwise known as ambitious or stretched goals. That said, we are not dealing with the outrageous or impossible. Critical to OKR, (and in setting moonshots), while it inspires and challenges, goals/objevctives need to be measurable and credible. OKR factors in Moonshots (ambitious) as well as Roofshots (less ambitious but nevertheless critical in the success of the business) and objectives can be a combination of both.
Another key success factor is found in transparency. That every single person knows where the organisation is headed and what teams are doing, without which, she likens it to driving in a fog. Transparency provides that meaning and direction, and in many ways serves to keep people motivated and focused.
During the chat, Antara related the FocusU story. Coming out of the pandemic and working remotely, there was a sense that people weren’t sure what everyone else was doing and questions like “how does what I do impact others in the company” started to be pervasive. That led to a pulse survey which unearthed some valuable insights into what needed to be done.
One interesting point Antara made was distinguishing between outcome and effort. OKR looks at the outcome. An example would be “connecting to a hundred clients”, which is a task, an effort. However, what matters in the key results is the outcome, which may be, how many of that hundred is actually onboarded? She qualified further that while outcomes matter, recognising genuine effort is important as well.
A key moment in the chat was when a question was raised about the actual roll-out of the OKR initiative and that led to a barrage of questions regarding challenges faced – yes, we are trying to leapfrog where we can. Challenges pertaining to push-backs and resistance; outcome versus effort; quantitative versus qualitative outcomes – how do you measure the latter?
There were plenty of sharing and prudent suggestions on rolling out OKR in your organisation. Some of which included proper communication down the line, experimenting and testing; giving it a real and honest go by at least running OKR for five consecutive quarters. Have OKR coaches to help with the transition, education and lend guidance to the teams at the inception.
Finally, we looked at how one can gamify something this serious and intimidating. Gamification is not only about the fun factor. It’s really about motivation, engagement, and in this case, creating a collaborative and transparent environment. The things that were discussed included tracking achievements and progress, injecting game mechanics, rewards and recognition.
Gametize also shared what has been done so far with its leadership team to identify the ambitious goals as part of the OKR journey; and the best part about it was, it was all done on the Gametize platform, in a series of facilitated sessions by their resident coach. Notes, discussions and comments were captured in a variety of challenges… all powered by Gametize!
There was so much that went on during the chat. If only you were there. Good news is, if you want to get your hands on the full Fireside Chat, look out for the release of the recording. And if you don’t want to miss out on the next Fireside Chat, register your interest for future Gametize events, by going to https://corp.gametize.com/gamification-events-workshops-conferences/
See you at the next Gametize event!