Must-Read OKR Books for Working Professionals

best okr books

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.

best 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.

Discover the top 10 books about the OKR framework

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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.

6. The Beginner’s Guide to OKR by Felipe Castro

Ideal for: Beginners to the concept of OKRs, including team members and junior-level professionals 

Felipe Castro serves as an OKR coach, assisting companies in enhancing their goal attainment through the utilization of the OKR framework. 

As an author, speaker, and passionate advocate for OKRs, he ranks among the most sought-after experts in the world when it comes to consulting on OKRs

Through his freely available resource, “The Beginner’s Guide to OKR,” he generously offers individuals a comprehensive tool for gaining knowledge about OKRs.

What should you expect from this book:

A simplified introduction to the OKR framework with easy-to-understand language and examples.

Practical tips for effective goal-setting and alignment within teams and organizations.

Step-by-step guidance on implementing OKRs to drive focus and performance.

7. Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs

Ideal for Managers, mid-level professionals, and entrepreneurs.

Paul R. Niven and Ben Lamorte are renowned for their expertise in strategic management and performance measurement, aiming to simplify OKRs for driving focus and engagement.

They aim to highlight how OKRs can drive focus, alignment, and engagement within teams and organizations. Their book employs simple language to emphasize the practical benefits of using OKRs. It offers real-world examples and case studies to illustrate how OKRs can be effectively utilized to enhance performance and productivity.

What should you expect from this book:

In-depth insights into the principles of OKRs and their role in driving organizational performance.

Practical guidance on designing, implementing, and monitoring OKRs effectively.

Real-world examples and case studies illustrating successful OKR implementation across various industries.

8. Start Less, Finish More by Angela Wu 

Ideal for: Intermediate-level managers, leaders, Entrepreneurs, business strategists, and professionals 

Angela Wus is recognized for her work in strategic planning, focusing on helping organizations achieve more with less through the implementation of OKRs.

She advocates for a more streamlined and agile approach to strategic planning using OKRs. She demonstrates how focusing on a select number of key objectives can lead to more efficient outcomes. 

The book emphasizes the importance of prioritization, strategic decision-making, and timely execution to achieve successful results while avoiding unnecessary distractions.

What should you expect from this book:

Strategies for streamlining the goal-setting process and enhancing strategic decision-making through the application of OKRs.

Insights into leveraging the OKR framework to prioritize initiatives and drive impactful results.

Actionable advice on fostering a culture of adaptability and innovation to achieve more with fewer resources.

9. How to Measure Anything by Douglas W. Hubbard

Ideal for: Data analysts, decision-makers, and professionals

Douglas W. Hubbard is a well-known expert in the field of measurement and data analysis, known for his ability to demystify complex measurement concepts for a general audience.

He simplifies the process of measurement and data analysis and highlights the significance of accurate measurement in the context of OKRs. 

The book provides practical methods and tools to help readers effectively measure progress and success, enabling them to make informed decisions based on quantifiable data

What should you expect from this book:

A comprehensive guide to implementing practical and reliable measurement strategies to assess progress and outcomes.

Techniques for quantifying intangible factors, reducing uncertainty, and making informed decisions based on accurate data analysis.

Insightful examples and case studies demonstrating the application of measurement principles in diverse business scenarios.

10. Succeeding with OKRs in Agile by Allan Kelly

Ideal for: Agile practitioners, project managers, and team leaders 

Allan Kelly is an Agile expert known for his expertise in combining Agile methodologies with OKRs, making the integration of these concepts easily understandable for readers.

He focuses on integrating OKRs into Agile methodologies. Kelly illustrates how OKRs can enhance Agile practices and improve team performance. 

The book offers practical advice and strategies for creating and delivering effective OKRs within an Agile framework, emphasizing the synergy between the two approaches for achieving better outcomes.

What should you expect from this book:

Guidance on aligning OKRs with agile principles to foster a culture of continuous improvement and iterative goal achievement.

Strategies for creating clear and measurable objectives that resonate with agile teams and contribute to overall project success.

Practical tips for effectively communicating OKRs, fostering transparency, and encouraging cross-functional collaboration within agile teams.

To sum up, these best books on OKR, along with the right OKR software, offer invaluable insights for businesses aiming to drive focus, alignment, and goal achievement. 

By following the tips from these authors, companies can become more adaptable and keep getting better at what they do, leading them to long-term success.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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