Okay, everyone. Time for a little OKR therapy. No OKR roll-out is going to be perfect, no matter how hard you try. No matter how much homework and planning you do, organizations are just messy. They're imperfect entities made up of imperfect people, and that is okay. Embrace it! I've seen quite a few folks go through the process of adopting OKRs. Here are some of the most common objections from people who are just getting started: "One of the things I hear is that OKRs impose too much structure and they stifle creative thinking, and it's going to be another way for the boss to micro-manage me." In fact, this was one of the main concerns at the rock star Bono's ONE organization. They were worried about losing their passion. To avoid the sentiment, you got to emphasize collective commitment, help people see themselves in the OKRs, and how their role in success are captured in them. Make it clear that OKRs are only a framework, not an edict on high. Having a seat at the table to set the priorities and measures is exactly why OKRs are a creative and collaborative process. Second, make it clear from the start that OKRs are not about compensation. It's not another tool to judge performance. It's a system for communicating priorities, for turning passion into action. Like Bono said about OKRs, "The OKR system cultivates the madness. It gives us an environment for risk, for trust, where failing is not a fireable offense. And when you have that sort of structure and environment, magic is around the corner." But sometimes we hear people feel constricted by OKRs, and so you've got to make sure you're not squeezing your employees with them. If you find that your Objectives are too specific or too prescriptive, or you have so many OKRs that the point where people don't have any hope of accomplishing anything, that's bad. Adopting OKRs can be stressful because there'll be a change. In fact, they're all about change. The way we're going to do things are going to change. Because of OKRs, the way we talk about unsolved problems is going to change, and as a result, we'll start changing, and change can be scary. For others, well, they're going to think no big deal, OKRs, just another project management tool that's going to be gone in a few months. For them, they only look at OKRs as that, as maybe a to-do list or a project management tool, and it's not. For both of these cases, I point out that OKRs are tools for helping us know what the next right thing to do is. Everyone likes clarity and knowing what to do next. Another speed bump is when OKRs don't go well, and people start to reject it. For whatever reason, you're not seeing results, you're not able to get the rhythm down, or maybe something interrupts an early cycle. The urge might be just to give up and some are going to try to blame the system itself. This is a sign to take a look at how you're setting OKRs and consider what you can improve -- either about the process or the OKRs you are setting themselves. Don't resign yourself to being rudderless. Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe calls the time when they ditched OKRs "the dark ages." As they returned to OKRs, she now describes their process as fun. For her, coming back to OKRs allowed a renewed sense of focus. She told us that people can now say, "No, this is not a part of the OKRs and we're not going to work on that." Finally, one of the most common complaints I hear is OKR seem like work about work, and they're just going to slow me down. What I usually ask that person is, "Are you capturing your strategy in a different way, and is that way working for you?" More often than not, the answer is no. In work, not much is more important than being clear about your strategy and then being able to translate it into measures of success. What else are we working towards if not that? Isn't it worth it to have a proven system that helps you do those things? That's why I try to approach teams who are adopting OKRs for the first time with empathy. Also, an attitude of "Why not give this a try?" It's worked for some of the most successful organizations in history, and maybe, just maybe, it can work for you too.