Objectives, key results, and the development of a matchmaking zone in Klitmøller

Many are interested in knowing how far we have come in our pursuit to create a matchmaking zone in Klitmøller. We haven’t been communicative enough, but this is far from an indication that we haven't been working on it.

In general, key people and organisations are positive and constructive. It is, however, one thing to convince the world that it is possible to do what we’ve set out to do in a larger town or city, but it's quite another thing to convince the world that it is possible to do in a village of 830 inhabitants. Is this possible. This is what we’re determined to find out. 

In general, we—of course—want the overall situation to be financially, environmentally, and culturally sustainable. In any case, especially in an area with a population density as low as this one, very few things have to happen to change the situation drastically .  

Flexibility, first and foremost, means scalability. Not only should it be possible to upscale a single matchmaking zone if more people want to join and/or if we want to export the concept to other regions but it should also be possible to downscale during periods with fewer residents and beta-residents.

Nevertheless, we are increasingly confident that we have found the best solution. However, there are some things that need to fall into place before we can reveal the details, so we’ll have more on that later. 

For all of us, it has been and remains a challenge to develop the place and at the same time run our businesses, which for all of us is different from creating a matchmaking zone. To stay focused, I've used my current obsessions, namely the OKR method.  

OKR is an abbreviation for “objective and key result.” OKRs can help you focus on your (company) goals and reflect on progress each quarter. Some of the biggest tech companies in the world use OKRs, including Google, Zynga, Upstart, and many others. OKRs were invented at the Intel Corporation.

Here’re some of the objectives and key results we’ve agreed upon in relation to creating a matchmaking zone in Klitmøller: 

Objective: 
//We must  ensure that the monthly rent for residency isn't too expensive.
Key result: 
//By August 18, we’ll have plan that’ll ensure that residency will not surpass 2,500 DKK/month/person. 

Objective: 
//We must find a suitable location for a matchmaking zone in Klitmøller. 
Key result: 
//By August 18, two possible locations should be found.  

Objective: 
//We need a firm commitment for an adequate number of residents. 
Key result: 
//By August 18, will have binding commitments from 10 residents. 

Objective: 
//We must ensure that the matchmaking zone actually facilitates relationships between residents and beta-residents.
Key result: 
//By August 18, we’ll have 12 concepts for large and small matchmaking events per year. 

Objective: 
//We must create a network that can spread the word about a matchmaking zone in Klitmøller. 
Key result: 
//By August 18, we’ll have 20 business ambassadors in Aarhus, Copenhagen, Kiel, and Hamburg.

I guess my obsession with the method stems from my desire to make a difference. Looking back at things, it can sometimes be difficult to see and remember the extent of any difference. 

Allow me to ramble further about the OKR method. 

It is up to you to define your OKRs. Typically, at the end of each quarter, your OKRs provide a reference to evaluate how well you did in executing your objectives. This feedback can help you plan better moving forward.

Individual OKRs must, of course, be in line with the overall objectives of the project or company. It goes without saying that the more time is spent crafting OKRs, the better your strategy will be, which makes it easier for you (and your employees) to see how they are contributing to the big picture and align with the rest of the team.

Your key results should be ambitious, which means that they should be beyond what you immediately think you can accomplish. If you always reach what you’ve set out to do, it is because you are not ambitious enough. Conversely, it is important not to be unrealistic. 

Over 50% of all participants in OKRs must come "from below." This implies that a project or company where management dictates what individuals should do typically have a hard time motivating the people doing the day-to-day work. In other words, ideally, motivation is what motivates each worker in the common interest of being successful. 

You evaluate your own performance on a scale of 0–1. You’ll give yourself a 1 if you reach or go above the target of your key result. For anything less than reaching your key result, you’ll give yourself from 0 to below 1. The goal is not to get a 1 on each key result, you're actually aiming for a 0.6 - 0.7. 

You shouldn’t have too many OKRs to focus on. Typically, you should have no more than four to six. With more than that, you run the risk of losing focus or, even worse, feeling extreme stress or burning out. 

It’s very important that the OKRs are available to everyone in your organization. Everyone should be able to access and see everyone's self-defined OKRs. 

I have suggested OKRs as something for residents of Cowork Klitmoller to rally around. Specifically, we could meet every quarter for a session where each resident would evaluate his or her past three months’ OKRs and "publish" OKRs for the next three months. 

At this stage, I’m not saying that we’ll adapt the OKR method as part of our community. What I’m saying is that having goals that ultimately can be measured against key results makes it much easier to focus on the things that matter. 

Rasmus Johnsen

Cowork Klitmøller, 84 Ørhagevej, Thisted, 7700, Denmark

I am a philosopher and possess knowledge of new media, that allows people to effectively communicate and organize themselves into systems that are designed to support and profit from collective preferences, intelligence, and talent. I am an entrepreneur and I have several years of experience in managing innovation projects. I have worked with politicians and elected officials, public administration employees, for-profit companies, and NGOs.