Catherine Wallwork has a job title that many would envy - Head of Innovation Engagement & Mindset at Deloitte Ventures - a rapidly growing function in Deloitte which aims to co-create disruptive technologies which changes the way that business is done.
Introducing OKRs to embed mindset change
I started introducing OKRs to Deloitte a year ago, with the purpose of embedding our work on mindset change. What I really liked about OKRs was the ability to reposition work as value delivered - focusing on business outcomes as Key Results, rather than tracking endless KPIs.
I presented OKRs as a new way of thinking:
- To encourage people to evaluate what they are doing to achieve the Key Results,
- To ask more questions like ‘is this working?’ ‘should we try something else?’ ‘how can we test what will work?’
- As a way of recognising the people who contribute to change programmes (which in most large organisations can be in danger of being seen as a side hustle!)
Challenges with embedding OKRs
I knew that OKRs sitting in a slide deck would only get us so far. To be really effective we needed software to track progress and share learnings transparently. I chose Just3Things as it was the only platform designed around multi-disciplinary teams. I loved the discipline of prioritising 3 OKRs to encourage teams to be ruthless in thinking about whether their work was contributing to their key outcomes.
OKR software proved invaluable
We started using Just3Things a year ago with the Ventures teams, and the platform has already demonstrated great results:
- It enables us to see how our objectives are aligned (or misaligned!),
- It reveals how people work together across functions to contribute toward shared strategic goals,
- We can identify who is contributing to different pieces of work and where the bottle-necks are.
The advantages of using OKR software to set direction and track progress has been even clearer during the past months of remote working. Our most recent Employee Voice Survey revealed that colleagues in the firm have felt less motivated since not being in the office - one big theme was that they felt that they lacked focus, clarity and cohesion on what they were supposed to be doing.
As a result of the survey and the benefits we have seen from using Just3Things, it is more important than ever for everyone to know what we're all doing and why we're doing it, and so we have started to embed OKRs and Just3Things across other practices within the Firm.