The OKR Podcast

Hosted by Deidre Paknad, WorkBoard CEO

The OKR Podcast is designed to help leaders use the OKR technique and other cutting-edge strategies to keep their distributed teams connected, aligned, and moving toward results.

While many recognize the power of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to foster trust based on transparency, not proximity, there is a dearth of information on how to do them well and reap their full benefit. That’s where this podcast comes in!

Why You Should Listen to The OKR Podcast

Performance vs. Performative Culture

Deidre shares her own operating rhythm including defining strategic ambitions, orchestrating execution, setting the pace, and managing the awkward pauses that drive great performance. Setting OKRs is the easy part, driving the execution drumbeat is the real work and the real win!

Performance vs. Performative Culture

As the VP of Execution and Transformation in the Office of the CEO at VMWare, Joel Neeb led the operating model transformation with stellar results. In this episode, Joel and Deidre talk about better alignment between CEOs and CHROs and the power of managers in the middle to unlock strategy achievement.

Manager Effectiveness

Your CEO wants a performance culture, but are your managers prepared to be effective in a super dynamic world? In this episode, WorkBoard CEO Deidre Paknad shares what’s changed and the signs that your managers may not be prepared to succeed.

Change As Usual

Sooner Safer Happier author Jonathan Smart joins Deidre to talk new ways of working, minimizing time to learning, and maximizing time to value. Don't miss this excellent discussion on value streams and OKRs and why this pivot is important now.

Strategy Execution in a Fast Changing World

Strategy execution is much harder now. The tried-and-true management models that drove your success for the last two decades may not get you where you want to go in the next 5 years. In this episode, WorkBoard CEO Deidre Paknad and VP of Customer Success Sameera Moinpour discuss their learnings about how successful companies executed their strategies and transformations in 2023, and make predictions about what the journey will look like going forward.

Leading & Leaning Forward

3M President Steve Shafer discusses the power of his forward-facing management model and the clarity, urgency, and focus it creates in his Automotive & Aerospace Division. He avoids the reactive trap that backward facing reporting and management cause and creates the conditions for success and simplicity.

Why Focus Makes All the Difference

In this episode, John Glander, Senior VP at JPMorgan Chase, and Duncan Hawksbee, Director of Strategic Execution at Trimble, sit down with WorkBoard CEO Deidre Paknad for a conversation before a live audience of strategy execution professionals at the Accelerate 2023 conference. Both share their organizations' very different OKR journeys and the profound insights they've gained on how to improve enterprise strategy execution. Their wide-ranging conversation covers why focus makes all the difference for a successful program, how one CEO's "rule of 3" made focus possible, and why leaders must adopt new strategy execution tactics before asking others to do so.

The Trifecta of High Performance, High Cadence, and High Engagement

In this episode, WorkBoard CEO Deidre Paknad is joined by Patrick Thompson, former Chief Information & Digital Transformation Officer at Albemarle, for a special fireside chat live from Accelerate 2023. Patrick has played a pivotal role in building multiple Fortune 500 companies, most recently contributing to the tripling of revenues from $3B to $9B in just two years.

If you've refreshed your strategy for the next year, it's time to be highly intentional about strategy execution, and this episode is not to be missed. Patrick shares the keys to the success of the last five Fortune builds, emphasizing the importance of incorporating both lead and lag metrics, along with maintaining alignment with a 52-week cadence to drive accountability.

Communicating the Value of OKRs and Strategy Execution

In this episode, WorkBoard CEO Deidre Paknad first discusses 4 common communication fails that undermine strategy operations leaders and executives and the simple word judo moves that work. Spoiler alert: "Do OKRs" is one of the biggest fails! She then zooms out to discuss how to communicate to mobilize people by meeting them where they are. Deidre provides a framework and guide based on your audience’s scope of responsibility and their change readiness. Knowing why people would change will help you communicate why they should change!

Team and Personal OKRs at VMware

Bryan Hope, Director of Unified Communications & Collaboration at VMware, joins Deidre Paknad to discuss the importance of harmonizing Team and Personal OKRs for greater impact, why and how VMware is doubling down on Generative AI to increase productivity and automation for both employees and customers, and how an efficient operating rhythm is the most critical, and often overlooked, component of great strategy execution.

Driving Strategy Execution with OKRs at CarMax

Summers Hutchings, Director of Product Delivery & Portfolio Management at CarMax, joins host Deidre Paknad to share how CarMax has leveraged OKRs to bring their corporate and product strategies to life, and emphasizes the importance of empowering cross-functional teams to solve problems and create great outcomes that are connected to the corporate strategy.

Iterating to Build a Successful OKR Program

What every executive needs to know about OKRs: The power of learning and iteration and the 6 executive failure modes you can avoid from the outset. WorkBoard CEO and OKR Podcast host Deidre Paknad shares her expertise and advice on this podcast so you can gain the wisdom of hundreds of enterprises that have gone before you to elevate your strategy execution and OKR discipline.

OKRs for Product Leaders

Tarun Chopra, Vice President of Product Management, Data and AI at IBM, sits down with Deidre to explore the power of OKRs to build strategic clarity and cross-functional alignment in product orgs tasked with continuous innovation, why leaders must model the right OKR behaviors to drive accountability across the org, and the opportunity to use OKRs as a collaborative coaching tool.

The Magic of a Strategy Execution ‘Source of Truth’

Brianna Ringen, Director of Performance Management, Global IT & Digital Business Office at National Grid, sits down with Deidre to discuss how a single source of truth on strategy execution ‘make lives easier’ while increasing accountability, and the best practices National Grid adopted to implement WorkBoard and OKRs, drive fast adoption, and realize value in less than one quarter.

OKRs for Agile, Outcome-Focused Organizations

Jeff Gothelf, business agility and OKR framework expert, organizational designer, author and speaker, sits down with Deidre to share his unique approach to cultivating a product-focused mindset across large, complex enterprise organizations. Jeff uncovers how agile organizations that manage to outcomes are fundamentally in opposition to legacy, command and control leadership practices - and more importantly, how leaders can empower their people with the right framework for autonomy, discovery, and learning.

Driving Agile Transformation in a Self-Directed Culture at IBM

Anthony Coppedge, Principal Agile Digital Sales Global Transformation Lead at IBM, sits down with Deidre to share how he introduced OKRs across Sales and Digital Marketing to ensure the creation of customer value is the focus of every employee in the org, and why a self-directed culture is at the core of successful business transformations.

How to Scale OKRs in Large, Complex Organizations

In this HCI Podcast episode, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Sameera Moinpour about how to scale OKRs in large, complex organizations.

Innovating & Mobilizing Faster at AstraZeneca

Cindy Hoots, CIO at AstraZeneca, sits down with Deidre to share her unique perspective on driving innovation at speed and scale. Cindy shares the importance of operationalizing the strategy and how it helped get everyone aligned and focused on outcomes.

Why Do OKRs Fail?

5 ways OKRs go sideways and why. Tried OKRs and they didn’t work or hearing that from a colleague? This episode talks about why OKRs fail, the root issues, and gives a fresh perspective gaining their true value.

Bringing Strategy to Life with OKRs at Cisco

Vikas Butaney, Chief Product Officer and GM at Cisco, shares how the organization implemented OKRs, the power of every employee being aligned on the mission, and advice for new business leaders who need to connect distributed teams.

How Zendesk Uses OKRs to Scale Efficiently

Zendesk CIO Colleen Berube says 'it's just how we run the business' as she shares how OKRs flow into WorkBoard Biz Reviews and they ensure every major initiative has an OKR that clearly aligns to the company objectives. Teams, time, and effort align and they're building stronger accountability muscles as they grow from 6k people to 10k.

OKRs at Google

Margo Georgiadis, former president of the Americas at Google for 8 years, leads a master class for executives on how Google uses OKRs. Margo shares her learnings from that period and highlights why the choice of measures is really a strategic decision, and how clarity and alignment on the right measures are growth fundamentals.

Building a Digital Operating Rhythm with OKR Software

WorkBoard CEO and OKR Podcast host Deidre Paknad appears on the McKinsey on Start-ups podcast to discuss how OKRs and a digital operating rhythm provide the transparency and accountability around strategy and execution that companies need.

Less Omniscience, More Agility and Compassion

Tina Murphy, President of GHX, joins Deidre for a discussion on the leadership lessons of 2021. She shares how GHX reset its operating rhythm from annual plans and QBRs to iterative OKRs and MBRs, and the power of purpose to galvanize greatness.

Momentum in a Messy World

Hootsuite CEO Tom Keiser joins Deidre for a CEO to CEO chat on cohesion in chaos, the changing nature of connection and community, and leading the way forward in transformative times. Tom and Deidre first met when he was COO at Zendesk launching their OKR program on WorkBoard several years ago and he brought it with him as he took the helm as CEO at Hootsuite.

Iterable Captures the Energy of Alignment to Fuel its Exponential Growth

Iterable's Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Samuels, and Chief of Staff, Nicole Watkins, join Deidre Paknad in this OKR Podcast to share the inflection points in Iterable's hypergrowth journey. For Iterable, the OKR framework and WorkBoard made it easier to operationalize and align efforts on their strategy even as they double headcount and revenue almost annually.

The Magic of Momentum

3M Automotive & Aerospace Division president Steve Shafer shares his observations on the potency of momentum to accelerate transformation and outcomes. It's hard to define, obvious when you see and when you don't have it — but it's what winning teams have in common. Hear how Steve uses OKRs and a growth mindset to amplify his organization's best possible outcomes.

Aligning Fast and Deep to Drive Results

Sameera Moinpour, VP - Strategic Services and Susan Mallaney, Manager - Strategic Services have coached thousands of product and engineering teams to great OKRs. In this episode, they discuss common OKR questions, concerns, and learnings across many product and engineering organizations.

Aligning Fast and Deep to Drive Results

Denise Kanfield drives the OKR and results program at Cisco. Before that, she was a business agility and transformation leader at Thomson Reuters for three years. Denise has done OKRs at three different companies, and she intentionally sought out a role to lead OKRs and results management. We sat down with her to tap the breadth and depth of her knowledge in the OKR space.

Learning is Leading

OKR Podcast host and WorkBoard CEO Deidre Paknad first met Rob Frohman, Co8 Group Cofounder and CEO, when he was working with Cisco on their move to Agile and she was working with them on the move to OKRs — peanut butter and chocolate! Deidre and Rob discuss how strategy and execution improve and accelerate with these frameworks.

Learning is Leading

Erin Rifkin, General Manager at Microsoft, talks about alignment and measurement muscle, how shared OKRs drive the One Microsoft vision, and why learning is the key to, well, everything.

Unscripted with Jeff Richards, GGV Capital

Deidre Paknad, CEO and co-founder of WorkBoard, joins Jeff Richards, Managing Partner, GGV Capital, for an unscripted and honest conversation about purpose-built software, iterating rapidly on strategic priorities, operating with an acceleration mindset instead of a safety mindset and so much more.

Time is Scarce - Use it Wisely

Tony Merritt talks about the cost of drift and the power of time and purpose to accelerate transformation. After more than two years with OKRs and WorkBoard, he shares how Secureworks shifted from reporting results to elevating them and how his team increased their own velocity. What started as "ivory tower OKRs" in a spreadsheet has become a business and transformation accelerator.

Trust is Where Great Alignment Starts

Artificial harmony leads to artificial alignment — hard discussions and risks are avoided, passive decisions are made and choices aren’t. Exec coach Jocelyn Kung offers simple steps leaders can take to create trust, healthy conflict and better outcomes.

Leadership & OKRs Fuel Growth

Chris Cravens, former CIO of Zynga and Uber as well as former VP, Software Engineering for Splunk shares what he learned about OKRs from Zynga, his passion for clarity, and how servant leadership leads to better business outcomes. Chris is one of few people who has ridden three high growth rockets — his lessons are worth learning, including how ruthless prioritization helps people thrive as fast growth companies scale.

Taking Time to Align on Growth

Sarah Frew, Senior People and Culture Generalist at Plenty of Fish, shares how this fast-growth startup drives fast, full cross-team alignment from the leadership team to squads and functional teams with OKR themes and a formal OKR Week in which the whole company gives attention to purposeful alignment. She shares what they’ve learned over 2 years and how their feedback loop improved their process.

Agile at Scale: The IBM OKR Story

Nanci Taylor, Vice President, Digital Strategy at IBM, talks about aligning on strategic imperatives, competing to win, and better business reviews. She explores the Capacity-vs-Ambition Gap and how sharp focus on it drives smarter decisions and outcomes.

The Fast Competitive Advantage of Alignment

LexisNexis Special Services & Risk Solutions Government CEO Woody Talcove talks about creating rapid competitive advantage with alignment and focus — creating customer value faster than competitors. He shares the fast wins and culture building experience OKRs enabled and how he got great outcomes in tough conditions.

Achieving Your Best Possible Outcomes

Michael Marcellin, CMO at Juniper Networks, talks about the power of their OKR practice and platform during the sudden move to work from home Spring 2020, what his personal leadership essentials are, and how his team achieves its best possible outcomes.

Look Forward: Work 2020 and Beyond

Deidre Paknad, CEO and co-founder of WorkBoard, discusses how leaders can turn current events into a catalyst for revisiting and improving the way teams come together, create value, and drive strategic priorities.

SalesRoads: Thriving as a Distributed Business

David Kreiger, CEO of SalesRoads, talks about how OKRs have helped his autonomous teams stay aligned, avoid the meeting trap, and drive results.

IBM: The OKR Booster Effect

Sarah Davis, Director of Portfolio Programs - Data and AI at IBM, discusses how she’s using OKRs to enable a very global organization to do its best work for customers.

GHX: Implementing OKRs

Ryan Padilla, Head of Global Planning at GHX, discusses the organization's experience with implementing the OKR practice and how OKRs helped give the GHX team the clarity to stay focused on value to customers.

Driving Alignment with OKRs

WorkBoard CEO and OKR Podcast host Deidre Paknad appears on the Build Podcast to talk about why OKRs matter, how to use them, and how to get the doubters on board.

Cisco Security: Results Aligned

Cisco Security Business Chief of Staff Anna Birch discusses the importance of alignment to drive growth in large enterprise.

Outcome Focus at Scale: Zuora’s OKR Story

There’s often an inverse relationship between a company’s growth and its alignment. As a company scales up, alignment far too frequently goes down just as quickly. Tien Tzuo, CEO and Founder of Zuora, shares ways that a company can maintain its alignment and objectives as it undergoes hypergrowth.

Company and Value Scaling with OKRs

In this fun interview Marcin Kleczynski, CEO and founder of Malwarebytes, tells the fun story of growing his company from its start when he was a teenager to $30 million in revenue from a college dorm room to $200 million and 800 people today.

What Does Transparency Have to Do with Culture?

Mark Organ is a visionary who founded both Eloqua and Influitive and is the author of the best-selling book The Messenger is the Message. In this episode, Mark talks very candidly about the challenges Influitive faced in 2017 that led him to adopt OKRs and the WorkBoard platform – they’d hit a growth wall and the great people in the org didn’t have great clarity on how best to contribute.

Authoring Company OKRs to Motivate Great Results

For executive leaders, OKRs represent a communication opportunity. They can provide direction and motivation, clarity and inspiration – a motivated, inspired organization wants to achieve its best possible impact.

Get a free consultation with one of our OKR experts.