37 min read

[Podcast] Operating OKRs with Tracy Jefferson

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In this week's podcast, Stephen welcomes Tracy Jefferson, Chapter Lead of the Tampa Bay COO Forum & OKR Advocate. They discuss a variety of topics, including the COO's role in operating OKRs as well as combining OKR and EOS strategies.


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Podcast Transcript

Stephen [00:00:00]

All right, cool. So, Tracy Jefferson, local Florida resident. You want give me a quick little, uh, overview of your, your background and your experience to set the stage.


Tracy [00:00:26]

Sure. So my, my real background is in leading global technology teams. I've worked across over a couple of dozen countries and, uh, but currently I'm director of the Tampa Bay chapter of the COO Forum.


Tracy [00:00:39]

I'm a founding member of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Private Directors Association and a member of their programs committee. Um, I also own a meetup group with several hundred members in the Bay Area called LGBTQ Professional Alliance and focus primarily on business growth strategies, uh, such as things like OKRs, uh, ESG, DEI, and sustainability.


Stephen [00:01:02]

All the acronyms, You just covered all the acronyms.


Tracy [00:01:04]

All the acronyms. You know, it's, it's a world of acronyms now.


Stephen [00:01:08]

Yeah. Once you know that you're pretty much, you know, you can conquer the world. Um, . So, uh, we've had some great conversations around OKRs and, uh, the similarities between EOS and we're talking the other day about, you know, Blue Ocean strategies and, um, I'd be curious to kind of get your perspective of where you think things are going that the, the direction the market is heading with these sort of methodologies and how they might, start to intersect.


Tracy [00:01:36]

Well, I think the thing that interests me a lot, especially with OKRs, you know, is that it's a methodology that's been around a long time and it's been incorporated by some larger companies, but those smaller companies are starting to pick it up, but it's also not, um, exclusive. You can have OKRs in with other strategies like an EOS or Blue Ocean Strategy. You can tie them together in a way that you have a complete picture. And bringing something like OKRs or EOS into a small company or even a startup company is a good way to instill some discipline and process into a company from day one instead of getting up to 25 or 30 people and stumbling because there's no process, you know, you go ahead and embed that from very early on. And OKRs is a great way to do.


Stephen [00:02:25]

Yeah, yeah.


Tracy [00:02:25]

Especially in goal setting.


Stephen [00:02:27]

Yeah. You set that operational rhythm, you know, like every company needs it. Uh, it, it, you know, gives a level of discipline to the organization. And the interesting thing you were mentioning about Blue Ocean, it's like, you know, you can take a methodology like that and, and apply that to a particular objective. If you're trying to enter new markets or you're trying to like, you know, get more competitive. So there's a lot of overlap, which is very interesting. But having that centralized language across your business, um, obviously has a lot of benefits.


Tracy [00:02:57]

Yeah, and if we look at something like, uh, like EOS kind of to take that conversation even further, you know, the OPT or operating system or EOS is a system that a lot of smaller companies like 300 and under tend to get into. Because it brings discipline, it brings process, it brings issue management, but it also brings vision. So you set your corporate vision, your strategy for the next few years, and OKR plugs right into that because EOS is very much a data driven technology or methodology as well. So when I bring OKRs in, I'm taking it to a granular level that that EOS doesn't really cover, but OKRs at the same time, feed data results and objectives back into eos. So from the highest level of the company, I can look and see the big picture of what's going on in my business. It's a really good approach. Yeah. I


Stephen [00:03:51]

think another interesting there is like with um, all these different methodologies, the understanding like the, the tipping point between like what, what is business as usual? What do we really need to track? What can we just like trust our employees to, to do, Um, like. OKRs, you know, sort of focuses on the big rocks and you know, a handful of those measurable results. And then really the strategic initiatives, like we don't really care about the day to day, but EOS is a lot more comprehensive, if I'm understanding it correctly. Like EOS is a lot more comprehensive, like top to bottom is that. Is that


Tracy [00:04:29]

Fair. It, it's very true. Uh, EOS starts at the top with the overall corporate strategy and then you drill down. You have your rocks for, matter of fact, you have quarterly rocks and rocks can be company level, departmental or team level, and rocks can exist on individuals as well.


Tracy [00:04:46]

And it's a very data driven. So EOS is make decisions based on factual information you have and not on emotion. Right? It's a really strong way of, of doing things and thinking about things logically, and something like OKRs then plugs into that with its data stream that says, you know, here's all these different, um, we have our vision, our mission, and we have our, our, uh, Objectives we've established and where they are and how they're progressing.


Tracy [00:05:13]

So I, as a head of a company, now can look down throughout my organization and I can see my corporate goals that EOS specified, but then I can feed into the OKR data and said, Okay, based on these corporate goals, How are we doing this in the field? Where are we going? Are we succeeding or not? And OKRs are even more scalable, frankly, than EOS because companies as large, Google, for example, you know, example, is a a big trend setter, if you will, with OKRs. But your 10 person company can use it just as successfully as well.


Stephen [00:05:45]

No, I mean, that's what we've seen. That's why we do this. Um, and so you're a member of the COO forum. Uh, I got your invite, uh, so I might meet, meet up with you for a cocktail tomorrow, uh, if that's on the table.


Tracy [00:05:57]



Stephen [00:05:58]

Um, what do you like? You know, with operational leaders and the COOs, like, is, is OKRs sort of a flavor of the week thing? Is it here to stay? What, what are you hearing from some of your colleagues and how this is working for, for companies?


Tracy [00:06:13]

You know, it's, there's a, there's a lot of variance. There are people that are using OKRs. Uh, I think OKRs have some misunderstanding. From the standpoint that it's a word that people are like, Oh, well I identify an opportunity and I just keep track of it. But it's actually a much more comprehensive methodology than that, and I think that's something that I'm seeing people starting to ask questions about and learn more about is what really is an OKR methodology versus talking about, you know, a single okr, a single opportunity.


Tracy [00:06:42]

Right? It's a whole different world. So I do see that. A lot of the companies I work with are small to midsize, so they're looking at strategies like an EOS and Blue Ocean and OKRs and how can they combine things to compete against the big guys too, because you know, the world's a small place in many ways today. I was COO of a mobile software company and we had employees across 10 countries. And, and we were on less than a hundred people overall, but we could compete any day with the people who had 10,000 because you run the right methodologies and the right way of doing and delivering things. So now smaller companies are not just an entrepreneur coming in, going, I've got this great idea and we're gonna build the million dollar company and I'm gonna get rich in retire when I'm 30.


Tracy [00:07:29]

You know, I now they find out the reality of that is very different. We come in with things like OKRs or EOS or Blue Ocean, and we bring some process and we bring structure and organization into how you do things because frankly, entrepreneurs are very emotional, excitable people. They also tend to chase the latest, coolest, shotty object, and they may create the greatest invention in the world, but if they don't know there's a market for it or don't know how to create a market for, it was like something like Blue Ocean goes for then.


Tracy [00:08:00]

They find themselves a couple years later, not, uh, not around anymore, so, The earlier we bring in some of these structures to smaller companies, the better, and I'm hearing this within COO forum groups, a lot of, a lot of the COOs are looking at these things and, and they have to, and that that's what a COO really is.


Tracy [00:08:19]

You know, if you're not into process and you're not into logic and unemotional decision making, you shouldn't be a COO. You have to be the, the flip side of that coin, right? Your, your CEO, the founder of the entrepreneur typically is very emotional and they're just wanting to go 50,000 directions. Uh, I used to joke with a, a former client of mine that the CEO was one of those, It's a thousand directions at once, and he never knew which day was the tie priority.


Tracy [00:08:45]

And it got to the point where it became a kind of a running joke where we were coming to a meeting. He was like, Okay, I only have 20 ideas. That's my limit. I've only got 20 ideas today. Cuz I, that's what I told him, You can't have a thousand, you get 20 a day. So, um, you know that that's what COO's job is though, is to put some structure and organization process around that, that visionary.


Tracy [00:09:06]

The excitable entrepreneur and OKRs contribute greatly to that. And OKRs are not super complicated either in terms of people being able to understand what they're looking at. And I, and I think a, a, a product and a company like Krezzo, for example, does an incredible job of making it presentable and making it, it's, uh, friendly. You know, it's not intimidating. It's a, it's a process that's manageable, very visual, and it looks, it looks great, It works great. The processes flow. And if you can get people in that habit very early on in a company, five years from now, they're really gonna be hitting home.


Stephen [00:09:42]

Yeah. No, that's great. And I'll, I'll be sure to send you the check, uh, for that, that awesome plug you just had right there,


Stephen [00:09:49]

Uh, no, that's great. And you know, there's a lot of value in doing this and having that discipline, uh, established and become part of like your operational rhythm and it's, you're building habits, right? And you're building your culture. And you know, once it's, once something like this is ingrained into your culture, as you bring on new people or as you grow it, it is self-sustaining and it can maintain the momentum.A lot of the, the implementations that we've seen or the people that we've started to work with or, or conversations that we've had, these things tend to lose steam and momentum because they're trying to do it when they got, you know, 600 employees. Like when you Right. Start early on. You can build that muscle and, and, you know, reap the rewards, um, over time.


Tracy [00:10:33]

And it's funny. Well, it becomes part of the culture, right? Yep. You build it into the culture early, and even when you hire people, you look for people who can fit into that culture. That's one of the, one of the concepts of EOS is that I want to put, or actually EOS and Rocket fuel, another thing I prescribe to that's related, but you need to write butts in the right seats.


Tracy [00:10:54]

And part of that is establishing the core values of who you have to. For the company and one of those needs to be somebody who's compatible with like an OKR methodology. So you're hiring the right personality types and the people who can work within the, within one of those systems. Yeah.


Stephen [00:11:10]

What's the other interesting part that you mentioned was, you know, working with CEOs, right? Like you, you have to be the. The, the, the complimentary piece of the emotional equation of an, you know, an entrepreneurial leader. Um, what, what sort of, uh, advice? Cause we, we work with a lot of CEO COOs, um, you know, chiefs of staff, people that. Have that responsibility of corral and the leadership team and keeping the, the CEO sort of, uh, in reality, um, what are, what are some like tips that you can offer up to other, uh, operational leaders to, to help work with those CEO or entrepreneur types?


Tracy [00:11:51]

Well, I think you know it, it depends a little bit on the particular role. So if, if I'm a, a CEO, um, and I'm talking about something like OKRs, it's probably because things aren't getting done. You're setting objectives that aren't getting accomplished or they slip through the cracks, or you never really know where things are. Or you can also, as a company, starts to grow, sometimes you find that you're not staying on focus, right? So that you could have even competing objectives out there. You literally have teams competing with each other and they shouldn't be. They should be complimenting each other, so, OKRs in particular, are bringing in a way to know what opportunities are out there and keep track of them, and then if I tie that back into my organizational structure, like an eos uh, where I have a whole set of discipline around how I manage all of this overall, then it works really well. But for the CEO, the, the biggest advice is, you know, you make sure you bring in people to help you that, that know how this works.


Tracy [00:12:53]

Um, and can also help a CEO mature in some ways. You know, CEOs are idea people again, they, they're going a hundred directions at once sometimes. So you need to have the flip side of the coin. As I said, a good COO on the other side. So you have your visionary, your person who's who establishes the corporate vision, your ceo, and you have your business integrator.


Tracy [00:13:14]

Your integrator is your COO typically, who ties all the pieces together and makes it work. So the real, the real market, if you will, for OKRs is more at the COO level and maybe the CFO because the CFO is looking for accountability. They want auditability and accountability. I put a million dollars into this project, I don't wanna look at project charts. Give me, um, an executive dashboard that shows me all the opportunities out there, where they're tracking where we're behind so that I can look, am I getting my investment moving forward? You know, are we making progress? So it just kind of depends a little bit on the different role you're talking to at the C-suite level in particular as to how you have that conversation.


Tracy [00:13:59]

CEOs though, struggle with, uh, especially when they're, they're fairly new or, or startup mode, still CEOs tend to struggle with giving up, telling everybody what to do or giving up authority, you know, or, or CEOs tend to be visionary, people who don't like to be in a box. I actually had one Saturday I was in a meeting with, uh, a venture capital and, uh, venture capital firm, and one of the gentlemen there said, I hate to be put in a box. I know I have to be put in a box sometimes, but I hate that. Well, that's why you are an investor and you are a venture and entrepreneur. You know, you're that personality type. But if you weren't in a box, you probably wouldn't have succeeded. If you don't have at least some constraints and process around you. So that's what even a small company gets so many benefits from like OKRs for that reason.


Tracy [00:14:50]



Stephen [00:14:51]

No, you're, uh, it's great and you know, as a small company, you're describing a lot of things that we've, uh, we've had to go through to mature and grow, um, because, you know, it's not easy and everybody's running around with their hair on fire trying to do a million things and, and, um, but you know, when we can sit down once a week and, you know, just do a quick check in and how are things going?


Stephen [00:15:12]

How's everybody feeling? We can get out in front of, you know, planning and doing more strategic level thinking. There's a lot of value that in that and what I've experienced. I don't know if you have, you know, anything to add, but like, The, the, one of the biggest benefits of this is just being able to have structure around a, a good conversation. You know, it just sparks good dialogue internally. It's not the methodology itself, it's just right mechanism to facilitate a conversation. How are we going to measure success? What are the business priorities? You know, what are we actually working on? Where do we want to make those investments? Um, I, I like to joke that, Every company on the planet does OKRs.


Stephen [00:15:52]

They just don't realize it. It's all right. People working to influence metrics that are aligned to business priorities, and all OKRs does is it puts it in nice clean buckets and,


Tracy [00:16:04]

uh, puts it in buckets, but it, it has visibility, which is important because. The informal OKRs, as we might call them, where people are just out in business every day saying, Here's an, here's an objective, and you go do it. Um, you know, you don't, you don't have that visibility. You don't have traceability. You don't know who's in charge of what and where everything stands. I just know as an entrepreneur, I said, Go do this. And three months later I ask you about it. You're like, What are you talking about? Or I, Oh yeah. You know, we worked on that for a couple weeks and just never got back to it.


Tracy [00:16:34]

So you, you need that traceability and that visibility across the organization that OKRs bring. Yeah. And, and that, that's something, And again, flipping to the more the, the corporate structure side, EOS does the same. It brings in this, this traceability and visibility accountability, uh, methodology that says, you know, we're going to be open and have open and honest discussions. Now, that's not always easy for CEOs. CEOs don't always like to have open, honest discussions because it can be tough for them too, right? Because somebody come needs to know, They have to come back and say, Look, here's the opportunity you identified. This opportunity is not on track and it's not on track because you keep changing the opportunity priorities.


Tracy [00:17:16]

Mr. CEO and CEOs don't always like that. Of course, we call that organizational whiplash. You're always changing your focus every other day and you don't get anything done and you're upset cause nothing's done well, It's because. Staying in focus. Um, so okr, as you said, it puts some structure into that and it puts that visibility and traceability.


Tracy [00:17:37]

So I can look and see everything going. I see the big picture and I can say, Okay, if I change priority, the opportunity over here. I can see there might be impacts to other priorities and especially when you have the relationships where I can't complete one opportunity without five opportunities beneath it being successful too.


Tracy [00:17:56]

So, you know, OKR gives that structure to that whole conversation. As you said, it's not just, it's not just a meeting and most meetings are completely ineffective. Um, so you put that structure in. The, it's


Stephen [00:18:11]

It's also just a big game of prioritization, , you know, it's like, what are the priorities we got?


Stephen [00:18:17]

There's literally infinite things that we could do. We could work on everything. The organizational whiplash happens because shifting priorities, um, that's another one that we've identified as a, a benefit of OKRs is to say, Is this really the priority? Is this really what we want to measure success on?


Stephen [00:18:34]

Is this really what we wanna be working on? and it changes. And, and that's the, the hard part is, you know, business moves fast. You gotta be agile. Things pop up outta nowhere, like covid or you know, whatever you wanna call it. Markets changing and you gotta be able to, you know, get out in front of it or be, you know, able to react quickly enough and to be able to ground yourself. And like no matter what happens, this is our operational playbook, this is how we run the business, no matter what happens. Like, that's just one less thing to worry about as far as I'm concerned.


Tracy [00:19:08]

Well, you're making decisions with. Yeah. Okay. That's important. It's easy as a leader to make decisions emotionally.


Stephen [00:19:16]

There you go.


Tracy [00:19:17]

This sounds like a great idea. This is the latest trend I heard this is happening. Let's dive right in and go for that. And you know, that's not the way to make decisions. Sometimes you've gotta look at hard data and go, you know, I think this is a really good idea. It doesn't fit our overall corporate strategy, our vision. Okay. It doesn't fit our mission. So we, we need to make sure that we're making the right decisions. So the business, the core business success is dependent on having some focus. You can't always change directions every five minutes. Yes, you have to adapt your to ever-changing business climates, but you also can't go chasing the latest, greatest shiny thing all the time, or you just get nowhere and you exhaust people.


Tracy [00:19:59]

You get organizational whiplash where everybody's shifting around 50 directions. Nobody knows what's coming tomorrow. You can't be successful that way.


Stephen [00:20:07]



Tracy [00:20:08]

And I, I've, I've seen that where you're going one direction one week, the next week, it's like, well, we're gonna go a totally different direction. Then two weeks later, you're, I've, I've, I've actually seen leaders that are like, Well, why weren't we successful in this first thing we started?


Tracy [00:20:22]

Well, because you took everything and went a different direction, you know, So what do you, Which do you want? You can't have both, Right? Uh, so it, but OKRs gives a, a good way to track all those different things that are at play, and know that if we do have to make a shift somewhere. What's going to win? What's going to lose?


Tracy [00:20:39]

And what maybe we're creating new things. Maybe we end up having to remove some things from the list. But you're dealing with data and you're able to see the big picture. Yep.


Stephen [00:20:48]

No, that's great, man. Couldn't have said it better myself. Um, what, what are, I mean, I know I'm peppering you with a lot of questions here. What are some of the things that I'm, I'm missing or things that you wanna bring up that you know, you, you think would be valuable to our millions and billions of listeners that we have out there? Uh, ?


Tracy [00:21:06]

Well, you know, I, I think a couple things. One, something like OKR, it's easy to say, Well, Google has something like that, so it's too big for me. No. If you're a small company, you in fact are a prime candidate for something like that. Don't say I'm necessarily too small. Even four or five person companies can take something like OKR and we can use that as a way to prioritize and know where we're gonna spend our human capital. Okay, We're a small company.


Tracy [00:21:36]

Google started OKRs. When they were so small, they set around a table in a pool hall, if I recall this story correctly. Yeah. Literally talking about implementing OKRs when they were that small of a company, and it's still a core part of their corporation today. Okay. Maybe everybody doesn't wanna be at Google or won't get there, but the point being that.


Tracy [00:21:56]

You're not too small. When you're small is when you put these things into place so that as you grow, you, you can maintain, you know, that, that, uh, discipline and that process in your business. Yeah. So that, that's number one. And number. Another piece of advice is don't always implement yourself. It's easy to take something like OKRs, and say, Okay, well I'm gonna read a book and I'll go do this.


Tracy [00:22:20]

Yeah. You know, you're better off for two reasons. Number one, somebody who has battle scar. Okay. OKR is a great process. It's a great methodology, but it's easy to screw up too and not do it the right way and not gain the full benefit. So you want somebody who's done this, but been there, done that. Uh, and second, sometimes it's good to have outside eyes.


Tracy [00:22:41]

Who's looking into your organization? Cause you have a bias. If you work for a company or you're an owner of a company, you have a bias, a skew in what you see and what you want to see and what you want to ignore for the moment. So sometimes it's better to have somebody on the outside who can sit down and ask you as a leader and the leadership, the host.


Tracy [00:22:58]

Hard questions. I, I think those are the two things that I would really stress to anybody looking or, or even thinking about OKRs.


Stephen [00:23:05]

Yeah. And I would add to that, uh, no matter what, keep going, You know, because like, the stuff's not easy. You're gonna make mistakes, you're gonna fail, you know? Uh, but it's, you know, better to learn from somebody else's mistakes. And that's where that, you know, outside of help can really be beneficial. But, you know, it's not easy. Um, you know, if you're running a quarterly cycle, you're gonna do it four times a year, right? And a year can go by quickly, but. You know, it, it's, you know, you do it every quarter and you, you reviewing things ideally every week.


Stephen [00:23:35]

You know, you're learning a lot about your business and, um, that, that's the ultimate benefit, is you can learn what to do, what not to do. Learn about your team, learn about yourself. We're an OKR company. We use it ourselves. We haven't crushed every single OKR that we've created, but we've learned a lot about ourselves and what we can do and what we can't do.


Tracy [00:23:56]

Isn't that one of the great benefits though of, of an okr? It's that inner that, that self-review, that self-reflection of going back and go, Well, we learned a lot that we didn't even realize there are things that we weren't doing well or doing maybe in some cases things we are doing. Where are we succeeding?


Tracy [00:24:12]

Where are we failing? So it's a lessons learned opportunity. No, I, I mean, I, I think that's really a huge benefit and of any kind of good methodology like that is you have to be willing to take some of the pain that goes with it. But the value is, is immeasurable that you, you're gonna learn so much about yourself, and you can learn to succeed, and you can learn how not to fail.


Tracy [00:24:34]

Of course you're gonna fail. If you're not failing, you're not pushing hard enough and you're not learning enough, right? You're gonna fail. That's okay. Yeah. But let's make sure we learn from those failures and move forward and improve.


Stephen [00:24:43]

Yeah. No, that's, that's, that's really great. Um, yeah, you, you'll never see or realize how quickly time moves either when you start doing OKRs because like, we were just looking at ours yesterday and I'm like, we're already a month into the quarter. Like where, where , where did the time go? Like, we got the holidays coming up before, you know, it's, Now I gotta do 2023 planning. Like it's. Time, just, it's like a freight train. Um, but when you start to review this stuff, you understand, okay, maybe I'm biting, biting off more than I can chew with this upcoming, uh, session. Like, you know, let's, let's minimize what we actually think we can achieve. And let's, let's get some wins. Let's build some momentum. Um, instead of saying, Oh yeah, we're gonna go be a, you know, A hundred billion dollar company, you know? Right. But let's just, you know, get our customers successful first. How about that?


Tracy [00:25:36]

Well, you're, you're also with, with OKRs, it, it helps you think about the different areas, like your different mission, uh, components because, you know, as an entrepreneur, I'm starting to see success, right? So I could say, Okay, I've got 10 people now and I'm gonna be a hundred in a year. But when you lay everything out in with your OKRs, it also acts kind of as that roadmap that I can see where I want to go, where do I wanna focus?


Tracy [00:26:03]

Maybe I've had OKRs I've identified that I can't even do right now. So do I need investment or do I need to reprioritize? Do I need to redirect a little bit? So it, it's not just, again, it comes back to not being an emotional well, I think this is a path to go. It's like I have data and I have a roadmap in front of me.


Tracy [00:26:20]

Now let's execute on. Let's just succeed. Let's fail to learn from failures, redo it, you know? And then let's see if it plugs into other strategies across the entire organization as well. And you're just, you're never too small to start down that path. Yep.


Stephen [00:26:35]

Yeah. No, you're dead. You're dead on. Um, and you know, we've seen that the, the benefits can be realized, you know, across any company. Um, but the, the sweet spot that we've seen is really those, those, uh, you know, mid-market software companies that are just, you know, they're starting to take off, you know, the products they've achieved, product market fit, you know, things are starting to get a little crazy and, and it's hard to, you know, manage everything operationally. And that's where we see a lot of people, you know, turning up. Um, and you know, the ones that can, can do it and implement and, you know, it's, it, can provide a lot of benefit, uh, you know, pretty quickly. And for other folks, they struggle. You know, they go right to software. Let me just go buy a software tool and. That's not really always gonna take you, you know, where, where you wanna be. It takes, you know, understanding of it, training, you know, like you were mentioning a little bit of, uh, external perspective. And then ideally you're keeping track of this stuff in a, you know, very simple tool.


Tracy [00:27:32]

I think in, I think you're looking at a model where you have software really as a, as a complete service too. You're not, it's not just about the software. The tool is critical. It's very important, but the knowledge and support behind that tool and the methodologies that someone can help you implement as part of it is important in, in an OKR situation. Again, and as I mentioned earlier, you know, you could, you could go read a book on OKRs and try to do it yourself, but if you don't have the right tools, you don't have the right mentors, the right review processes, you're not gonna succeed like you should.


Tracy [00:28:06]

So doing it more as here's a great tool, but besides the tool, we have experience and we have training, we have methodologies, we have a help desk that can help you, uh, when you get stuck and aren't sure what to do. I, I think that's really a better path for most companies to go.


Stephen [00:28:21]

Yeah, no, it's funny, the, the, the book, you know, like Measure What Matters is like the OKR you know, the OKR Bible almost for many people, they, the executives read that book and then they're like, that's, that's the organizational whiplash. Oh, let's go implement OKRs. But, you know, it's spending a little bit of time to think through it a little bit more strategically, is beneficial because it's not easy. And, um, Tooling won't, won't get you to the promised land. Um, neither will spreadsheets, but you know, that's why we exist.


Tracy [00:28:50]

Well, you know, you, one of the things you have to have with, with something like this is you really need to have the executive, not only executive buy-in, you need that champion. You need executives demonstrating that they're part of that process too. It has to be a, you have a top down and a bottom up. OKR has a double view of the world, you know, But you, you really need to have your senior leadership, involved and committed themselves. Because if you're a senior leader and you say, Okay, employees, we're gonna implement OKRs. And the senior leadership's ignoring the whole thing and just going, Yeah, that's really cool. I'm glad you guys like it. You know or don't other people are going to buy into it. But if they see, if I, I'm getting a presentation as company-wide and my CEO is up there pulling up information, showing my OKR and my hierarchy of, of things we have underway in our opportunities and where they stand.


Tracy [00:29:45]

Wow, the CEO is actually seeing the work we're doing down here, three levels down. Because they've got that visibility across their executive dashboard. They know what's going on and they see every week, or you know, especially quarterly, we're gonna see our results. Um, so I think it's very important to have that top down buy-in, but you've gotta have bottom up commitment. If you don't, it won't work. Yep.


Stephen [00:30:09]

No, you're right, you're right. It's gotta work both ways. But it starts with leadership. You know, you gotta, you gotta lead by example and attitude reflects leadership too. So you gotta have a good, hopefully your people have a good attitude about it, and can follow the leaders and, and grant it into their culture.

Um, Anything else? Tracy, this has been great, man. It's been great to chat and catch up and, I'm disappointed you didn't wear your Krezzo shirt that,


Tracy [00:30:34]

You know, I almost did. I actually started to, and I thought I'd try not to go super casual since it's a t-shirt, but, uh, yeah, I almost, uh, wore the Krezzo shirt. I have. I I love that. I, uh, next time go outta the country, we'll, I'll make sure I'll wear it again across the Pacific like I did when I was out recently. Yeah,


Stephen [00:30:53]

Well that was great. When you send me that picture, you're in, we're we're in Thailand?


Tracy [00:30:57]

Soul, I was in SOUL at the time.


Stephen [00:30:59]

Yeah. And you sent me that picture. I was like, I was like, Oh wow. We've, we've made it big time. We have, uh, we


Tracy [00:31:05]

Have a fan. It's gone. We're, you know, just spread the name. Cause I think what I think what you're doing is really interesting to me, cuz I obviously am. Somebody who believes in the OKR process. But I like the fact that you are addressing it as something that's not just about here's how to record an opportunity and how to show the, the results against it.

You know, you're taking that further. You're looking at how do we properly educate people and provide them the right tools, the right service, in order to drive success over the whole, over the whole implementation of it. Um, and I, I really like that it's, there's a lot of people out there that can sell tools.

But tools are no good if you don't have people who know how to use them properly. If you ever see me with a power about power saw, you'll understand that concept because I will destroy your house. . I'm not allowed to use power tools cuz I'm dangerous, right? So don't give me tools that I'm not trained properly or know how to use. Uh, so that's one of the things I think that your, your team is doing quite well. Well, thank you.


Stephen [00:32:03]

Thank you for the kind words. Appreciate that. Yeah, and if you want any good, like refreshers on power tools, I think they got classes at Home Depot. You can learn how to use all that stuff. You know, it's, it's not that difficult.


Tracy [00:32:12]

I don't know if they'll let me in. I, I might, I think there's a, like a warning sign. No, no Power tools section for me.


Stephen [00:32:17]

Don't let Tracy in, don't let 'em near the shop objects. Okay. Makes sense. Well this has been great man. It's been great fun chatting with you. Um, I can't believe how quickly time has gone by cuz we, we first connected whatever, like earlier this year, it was,


Tracy [00:32:34]

Maybe it was early this year. Yeah.


Stephen [00:32:35]

Yeah. Kept in touch. But, um, you know, big fan of, of you and, and your, your expertise in this area and, you know, I, hopefully I might be out towards the Tampa area tomorrow, maybe get to meet up if, uh, you're out that way and,


Tracy [00:32:49]



Stephen [00:32:50]

Been a lot of fun.


Tracy [00:32:52]

Well, maybe I'll get a chance to, maybe we'll get a chance to chat in person tomorrow if. There's always Zoom.


Stephen [00:32:58]

Yeah, It's always Zoom. Alright man, well, we'll wrap it up. I'll stop recording and, um, we'll do the after the after show.


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