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5 Myths About Small Business OKRs And The Truth About Them

Updated: February 25, 2022

If you want your project to succeed, you need to set clear goals for it. Having goals in business often translates into implementing OKRs. Though most companies acknowledge the need for them, few can implement them effectively. One major contributor is people’s ambivalence about their effectiveness. There are plenty of myths about OKRs—here are just some of them.


MYTH: OKRs Are A Waste Of Time

Many people think that OKRs do not work and that acting on tasks is better than setting goals. While OKRs take time to formulate, having them keeps people on track, especially for long-term projects. Objectives push people to work while setting key results gives you a benchmark for success. Successful implementation of OKRs can give significant ROI.


MYTH: OKRs Are Ill-Suited For Small Companies

The most famous OKR template in the world is the one Google uses. While entrepreneurs acknowledge that OKRs work for Google, many think this only happens because it is a large organisation. However, OKRs will work for both small- and medium-sized enterprises just as well.

OKRs help smaller companies achieve goals that would be unattainable for them otherwise. They can help SMEs measure and align individual or team goals to the company’s objectives. This practice enables managers to monitor results and ensure overall success.


MYTH: Alignment Is Non-Negotiable

While it is ideal, aligning individual or team goals is not a requirement. Since your organisation would function depending on your industry, your goals might differ based on what you are trying to achieve. Aligning OKRs with your business or organisational goals is not mandatory, and you can always align or remove alignment if necessary.


MYTH: OKRs Are A Tonic For Employee Disengagement

Setting OKRs will help motivate employees and encourage them to achieve their goals. However, these will not automatically result in higher engagement. The only thing OKRs do is measure progress while your team or company pursues an objective. They do not spur employees on or make them exert effort in achieving the goals.

Like in many things, you can only give people the prompts and the context within which they can succeed. OKRs can push employees, but only to some degree. An actively disengaged employee will not benefit from OKRs; you will have to use other ways to help them work.


MYTH: It Is Always Better To Have More OKRs

When there is executive buy-in, the problem tends to be overeagerness, and managers might push employees to create as many OKRs as possible. The idea is that the more OKRs set, the higher the employees’ output. However, too many of them can be counter-productive, especially in departments with overlaps in roles. Each employee should only have two OKRs aligned with the organisation’s goals and two for personal development.



Goal-setting can provide direction to the projects a team takes on for the year. When you sit down as an organisation to set OKRs, employees get a better sense of how their tasks contribute to the larger goals. Aside from encouraging people to be more productive, OKRs help develop a sense of ownership and give people a way to visualise how they fit into a company’s mission.

Partner with SKILLFIRE to get your team primed and ready to set OKRs. We are a management consultancy helping enterprises in Melbourne and Sydney with their organisational alignment. Create an impact and design your company’s success today—contact us to know more!