Embrace the red

OKRs

One of the biggest success factors for OKRs is culture. A healthy team culture of trust is fertile ground for successful OKR implementations. One of the core principles is to "embrace the red" in OKR reviews.

It's important to celebrate what teams are doing well. At the same time, learning and growth happens in areas that are blocked or need attention. As teams create new categories, targeting new audiences and inventing new products, there will always be aspects that need to improve, i.e. show up red on the OKR scorecard. The red key results are the opportunity to improve the eventual outcome as soon as possible.

It is easy to slip into a mentality that suggests anything in red is negative - and uncomfortable to address. Focusing on red key results will generate the fastest growth. It opens up the path to improvement, growth and scale.

Once you "embrace the red" OKRs shift from a performance management tool to a learning device that facilitates impactful conversations about what teams learn as they build, launch and operate products.

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The Author

Raging introvert, estimated to be 120% German. Passionate about photography. If Sheldon knocked on my door three times, I'd let him in.

1 Comment

  1. […] Embrace the red: Encourage Key Result owners to give a fair and balanced assessment of the status of their KR. Being “red” is not necessarily bad – pretending not to be is. Once a team “embraces the red” OKRs shift from a performance management tool to a learning device that facilitates highly impactful conversations about what teams learn as they build, launch and operate products. I wrote more on that here: Embrace the Red. […]

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