Communication that multiplies OKR performance

Communication that multiplies OKR peroRmance

Successful negotiation is about something other than getting to ‘yes.’ It is about mastering ‘no’ and understanding what the path to an agreement is

Chris Voss

Townhalls, weekly check-ins, coaching sessions and reviews are all ‘touch points’ that we can utilize to communicate the following:

  1. Reason for deploying OKRs (our Why)
  2. The impact on our customers, clients or users that we are creating through OKRs and the true value added to them
  3. Opportunity to iterate and improve
  4. Urgency and importance of what we are doing
  5. Top priorities of the company
  6. company Vision and strategies with a high degree of transparency
  7. Successes that we have achieved, as well as the learnings from our mistakes

Through mostly positive, open and collaborative communication we can create a motivating climate that makes it simpler for team members to perform and understand the impact of their roles.

To create positive outcomes through meetings, a core need is to collaborate toward agreements on the next steps, what we should avoid, and what we should improve upon. Positively and jointly questioning our status quo as a team and communicating the areas of focus toward continuous improvement followed by action and iterations creates a path toward achieving excellence.

Our Priorities should be reflected in our communication in a transparent way. At the heart of prioritization is the careful consideration of what we should say no to and what we should say yes to.

Communications Planning – Usually the missing link

A high-quality OKR strategic roll-out plan can form the foundation for a successful and sustainable OKR roll-out. However, the strategic roll-out plan needs to include a communications plan.

To support a succesful roll-out a communications plan can elaborate on:

  1. The ideal frequency of communication (e.g weekly check-ins)
  2. What reminders needs to be sent out (and who is responsible for sending them)
  3. How to foster collaboration through communication
  4. The communications training required to ensure effective internal coaching sessions
  5. A contact list of all the various OKR participants

Leadership starts with Inspirational Communication

High levels of Inspiration are required to achieve far-reaching goals. Team members tend to follow what Leaders and managers focus on. Through a strong focus on a compelling vision, transparent and meaningful strategies, inspirational communication, and leading by example, leaders can influence OKR team performance.

Excellent OKR communication focuses on:

  1. Clarity of Vision
  2. Co-created and clear strategies
  3. Belonging cues to help build Psychological safety (Sincere cues , such as ‘Your contributions are valuable to the team’)
  4. I am asking positive questions that foster collaboration over preparing long speeches. (How can I better support you? What is it that we can do better?)
  5. Priorities ( We need to define what to say yes to and what to say no to)

Getting your team to Discuss and agree to a summary is way more powerful than a ‘yes’

It is an ‘OKR Communication’ best practice to create a short meeting summary at the end of the meeting. This summary can make the following benefits-

  1. It serves as a reminder of what was said during the meeting.
  2. It is an oppurtunity to distill what was said into action points
  3. Getting an agreement to the summary after a discussion is more powerful than an individual doing all the talking and the rest simply agreeing by constantly saying yes to everything.

Often, meetings have low value, especially when no clear and focused agenda is aligned to outcomes and there is no summary agreement or clarified action steps.


‘OKR communication’ fosters collaboration through the positive and collective questioning of the status quo. ‘OKR Communication’ should also reflect priorities and be aligned with a compelling vision and purpose. A communications plan is generally an excellent supplement to a strategic OKR Roll-out plan.

‘OKR communication’ is the glue that holds the implementation of Objectives and key results frameworks together.

Talent Development Director of the OKR Institute