OKR's - The First Crowd-Created Methodology

I contend that OKR's are the first "crowd-created methodology" and therefore there is no one source to say any one of these ideas is right or wrong.

Balanced Scorecard - Drs' Kaplan & Norton

Reengineering - Micheal Hammer

7 Habits - Stephen Covey

One Minute Manager - Ken Blanchard

Blue Ocean - Kim and Maubourgne

OKRs - ???

Sure, we know the idea has been promoted by John Doerr, but he freely admits that the idea came from Andy Grove at Intel... who in turn freely admits that it is his version of Peter Drucker's MBOs. Drucker himself talked about MBOs being the derivation of the work of Taylor and Ford.  So at minimum OKRs have five "fathers of invention"... but I think that grossly understates the truth.

I contend that OKR's are the first "crowd-created methodology".  The reason - right now there is no clear "thought-leader" and there are currently dozens of people writing books and authoring papers on OKR's and hundreds of people blogging and developing tools.  They are all working on OKR's through their own experience and brains.  Out of the crowd will come the agreed-to frameworks.

And there is no one source to say any one of these ideas is right or wrong.

This is important.  This is unique.

For example, when Balanced Scorecard practitioners have a question, they can look to the writings of the good Drs. Kaplan and Norton the find 'the answer'.  There is no such source for OKRs.

I think that is interesting.

I wonder if areas that did have a thought-leader, such as the Balanced Scorecard, can survive when the thought-leader fades away.  OKRs will not have that problem.

Brett Knowles

Brett Knowles is a thought leader in the Strategy Execution space for high-tech organizations. His client work has been published in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fortune, and many other business publications.

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