The Secret Sauce: Objectives and Key Results

As an educator, we certainly know about "objectives" in the classroom.  We also know the term "key results."  However, in many successful businesses, this is common as well. Moreover, these successful businesses such as Google, Intel, Target, Twitter, Linkedin, and many more use Objectives and Key Results (OKR) to create alignment and engagement within the company.

As a principal and edu-preneur, I tend to read a lot about other successful businesses and then I often find myself making connections with what we do as educators and leaders.  Therefore, my brain is just taking what big businesses do to meet their goals and what I can do as a leader to help my school meet our goal.

So let me tell you about OKR- Objectives and Key Results.

I first read about this in this book: Measure What Matters


The goal formula is very simple.

I will (objective) as measured by (the result).

Objectives are memorable qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve. Objectives should be short, inspirational and engaging. An Objective should motivate and challenge the team.

Key Results are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the Objective. For each objective, you should have a set of 2 to 5 Key Results. More than that and no one will remember them.

If it does not have a number, it is not a key result.


A school's success is tied to the school's focus or lack thereof.  I believe focus is the thing that makes the difference between excelling and flailing about in mediocrity.  It is important to point out that these businesses really only have a few OKRs.  Think about that for just a minute.  One Objective will have 5 Key Results.  If you have multiple OKRs and each has multiple key results, it can get really complicated really fast.  Keep it super simple.  Less is more.


These objectives fit right into your campus and district vision.  These work together to motivate your school with a purpose and an intentional direction.  


The objectives keep your teachers focused, inspired, and aligned to the overall goal.


Having a focus throughout the school helps keep students at the center.  There is nothing more exciting than seeing your entire staff work together to move your school forward.  Moreover, students thrive in this kind of environment.  


The simplicity of the process is great, but the benefits are even better. The method is designed to keep the vision, goals, and objectives of the company or school, team or individual in the forefront. People know what’s expected of them and how their work fits in with the larger tasks of the team or school.

The great thing about OKRs is that they don’t take much time to set up, and they’re easy to use.

Before you set these objectives, do you know your school's vision?

The vision is one of the most POWERFUL things that we as school leaders can create. The vision matters. It matters to the overall success of your school.

We want to help you create your vision. This is why we are so excited to announce that Discover Your Instructional Vision (DYIV) is now gone digital!

This eCourse is where we teach you how to make a plan to achieve your vision. Look at all the amazing things we are including in this online course.

Editable calendars, schedules, Response to Intervention (RtI), posters, a 70+ Transformational Guide, A Quick Reference Guide, THE PRESENTATION that we use at on-site trainings, all the presenter notes, Principal Reflection forms including all the critical components of effective schools, Planning Process Forms, activities for team building, and access to a growing folder!

Plus two coaching calls via #zoom and access to a private Facebook group for daily communication.

FOR 10% OFF, USE THE CODE: discovervision

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Creating a School's Vision as a School Leader: Digital Access

I honestly believe that a shared vision is the primary ingredient in the secret sauce to drive innovation in our schools. 

As a superintendent, principal, or other school leader, you want to implement important instructional initiatives for the school year. How much time do you really have to create this vision all while maintaining your daily tasks in your position? If you’re anything like me, then you probably can’t even count the number of hours you spend just preparing for the events that are already on your calendar or things that fall in your lap throughout the day. Adding these initiatives to your calendar is just unthinkable. Imagine if you were given a plan, all the strategies, and all the tools in your hand to creating a vision that will empower teachers to engage in meaningful reflection and move each individual student to personal growth.

How confident would you feel that you could really implement this vision and create a successful school culture that is centered on teamwork, coaching, and caring for each other?

The Importance of Having a Clear Vision

At any given point in time, there could be students and teachers in schools that are experiencing burnout, teaching, and learning in isolation, and lacking real systems to bring about change. This includes the very people in your school. Without a solid foundation in the right direction and systems to unite your teams, they are held hostage to an endless cycle from which they need to bring about change. A strong instructional vision is not something far from your reach; it is literally right here in this guidebook. 

We can’t wait for others to fix our problems. We can’t continue to wait until next week or next month to find the time in our schedule to create this vision. We are all stakeholders. We all have a part to play, whether we work at the district level or campus level. The solution to lack of vision and systems will happen when you are ready to put the boots on the ground and take steps to climb your summit. Helping your teachers and students see this vision improves their teaching and student learning.

Now imagine instead of staff and student disengagement, isolated learning, and always wondering what to do next, you stepped into a school where students and teachers are thriving, they’re eager to do more, and you have a system for serving all of your students from low performing to high performing. Your campus has improved in state accountability, and your energy is replenished. You now feel like you have your head above water. You are ready to achieve your campus goals. 


Each one of us can make this vision a reality. If you are a superintendent, set aside time to grow your campus leaders. If you are a principal, stop the mindset of “getting ready to get ready.” The time is now. Use your knowledge and skills to create the school you imagine. The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your school’s full potential- these are the keys that will motivate you to cross the finish line. Successful leaders know the importance of creating a strong and shared vision. With this vision, you can accomplish big things.

Are you ready to take your school to the next level? 

Join Morris Lyon and me on this journey with the Discover Your Instructional Vision.

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