Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

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Must-Read OKR Books for Working Professionals

23 May, 2023
4 mins

If you’re here, you may have been thinking – Is there any OKR book that can give me the insights to shape my business for good? Even if you are not thinking this way, we have summarized some of the most thoughtful OKR books here for beginners and expert OKR learners.

OKR Books

Experienced readers know that reading impactful books only works when you implement their actionable insights. As the famous quote in Measure What Matters by John Doerr says, “Ideas are easy; execution is everything.”

You can truly leverage the OKR framework and make your business successful only when you keep implementing OKRs among your team and learning from experimentation. 

Read on to see what you can expect from these wise books and how to ensure you put your learning to the best use in your business.

A brief history of OKRs

Developed by Andrew Stephen Grove at Intel in the 1970s, it’s a thoughtful management framework for managing people and the business.

He studied the pioneering works of Frederick Winslow Taylor, Henry Ford, and Peter Drucker in management. He came up with iMBOs (Intel Management by Objectives), Intel’s other name for the OKR framework.

OKRs were a great way to measure output for everyone. He made everyone set outcome-based benchmarks and align their jobs around them. Intel had found a way to set aspirational goals for the company and achieve them with focused execution.

One of the most famous success stories of the OKR framework is from Google. John Doerr introduced OKRs to Larry and Sergey in 1999, and the company still uses them today.

Learn all about OKRs with these OKR books

Measure What Matters by John Doerr

Ideal for: Beginners

John Doerr is a venture capitalist and the chairman of Kleiner Perkins. He is passionate about using tech to solve the world’s biggest problems.

John is an OKR Ambassador who has worked with OKRs for years, starting from his days at Intel under Andy Grove, who is considered the Father of OKRs.

In this book about OKRs, he shares his experiences with OKRs and how this framework has helped many companies shape their business and the world around them.

What should you expect from this book:

  • History of OKRs: How this framework originated and how it is still valid 
  • Real-life examples and case studies of different businesses in different industries using the OKR framework with specific details and situation description
  • Main takeaways from the success stories of other companies like CFRs (Conversations Feedback and Recognition) and establishing team alignment
  • Best OKR implementation tips and practices

High Output Management by Andrew Stephen Grove

Ideal for: Beginners and Experts

Andrew Grove was a Hungarian-born American businessman who served as the third CEO of Intel Corporation. He is known for his management philosophies and is called the Father of OKRs.

Grove penned down all his learnings as a manager in this book and put it in simple insights for professionals looking to manage themselves or a team better. He also explained how the right way of working can help you sail through unpredictable times in business.

What should you expect from this book:

  • Understanding how organizations work and using this knowledge to improve processes
  • Measuring output to make outcomes better
  • Making impactful decisions efficiently
  • How to create meaningful goals and achieve more with OKRs
  • Real-life examples, analogies, and success stories
  • Managing difficult business situations
  • Effectively deal with people, motivate them, and help them perform better

Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals With OKRs by Christina Wodtke

Ideal for: Beginner and Intermediate users

Christina R. Wodtke is an American businesswoman, author, and expert in Design Thinking, Information Architecture, and Management Science. She currently teaches at Stanford in HCI.

Christina knows how to make people understand OKRs, and she has busted many misconceptions about OKRs in this insightful book. She comes straight to the point by making this book concise and effective for OKR users.

What should you expect from this book:

  • Understanding the role of OKRs in making a startup successful with a fictional case study
  • Actionable takeaways for better OKR implementation
  • Less-frequently asked questions about OKRs answered

The OKRs Field Book: A Step-by-Step Guide for OKR Coaches by Ben Lamorte

Ideal for: Beginner and Experienced OKR coaches

Ben Lamorte is one of the top OKR consultants globally and a management science expert.

Ben has put together all his OKR coaching experience into a structured guide to help other OKR coaches implement this framework effectively in other organizations.

What should you expect from this book:

  • Best ways to carry out your consultation process effectively with a simple three-phase process
  • How to set up clients for success with the proper OKR practices
  • How to tackle commonly faced challenges when consulting for OKRs

Google: How Google Works by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg with Alan Eagle

Ideal for: Managers and new Entrepreneurs

Eric Schmidt is the former CEO of Google, serving there from 2001 to 2011, and Jonathan Rosenberg is the former SVP of Products at Google, now advising Alphabet Inc.

The read is about how Google is managed. Eric and Jonathan spill some secrets about the company’s successes (and failures). They also discuss the company culture and how the teams execute the big scary goals.

What should you expect from this book:

  • Precise details about the internal operations with real anecdotes and examples
  • Some history of Google and its business plans
  • Learn about the organization’s culture
  • Discover how some of its most successful projects were executed successfully

OKR books are not enough to continue improving OKR implementation, whether you are an OKR Coach or an employee. You must experiment, refine the OKR process, provide continuous training and support, measure success metrics, and learn from your mistakes.

By the way, some training support is always available to create and implement OKRs in your organization, train managers to become OKR champions, or coach amateur OKR experts—for example, JOP’s personalized OKR consultation to implement OKRs in your company effectively.