Interstellar Business Show​

With Andrew Bull

Podcast for Technology CEOs and their teams.

It's time to grow your mind, elevate performance, and own your future 🚀

Interstellar Business Show​

Podcast for Tech CEOs who want to grow their minds, elevate performance, and own their future.

Northstar Goals for Teams - Tim Meinhardt on KROs & performance


Episode Introduction

This week’s guest is going to teach you about the magic of OKRs… 

In today’s show you will learn:

  • How to keep your team aligned
  • How to keep your team engaged
  • How to benefit from the diverse knowledge of your team

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Episode notes & resources

Find out more about Tim Meinhardt

Atruity Website –

OKRs Q&A Podcast –

Download our Seven C’s To OKR Success E-Book –

Work With Atruity –


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Please note, this transcription is autogenerated, so there may be errors.

[00:00:00] Andrew Bull: Andrew Intro Welcome to the show, Tim. And that’s Tim. Meinhardt. I’ve got that right.

[00:00:06] Tim Meinhardt: Yes, you do. Thank you so much, Andrew. It’s a pleasure being on your show today.

[00:00:10] Andrew Bull: Yeah. we’re very pleased to have you here. Do you mind giving us your full name and title? So I don’t have to completely balls it up by getting it wrong.

[00:00:19] Tim Meinhardt: Yes, it’s Tim Meinhardt and I’m the president and CEO of an organization called, Atruity and we are located in the Washington DC area.

[00:00:30] Andrew Bull: Oh, lovely. Okay. In the good old us of a wonderful, and if you got any achievements that you want to share with our audience today, so obviously you’ve got your, your, your company. So congratulations on that. But what you proud of that you’ve achieved over the years.

[00:00:44] Tim Meinhardt: Oh, well, thank you, Andrew. Great question. Other than being a father of two wonderful daughters been married for 37 years, um, from a professional perspective, I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to pursue entrepreneurism, back in the early nineties. And I was fortunate enough to have started a mortgage company and, which was a little bit of a, um, interesting career because I had done it for 17 years. One day woke up and said, I can’t do it anymore. So my computer kid was convinced this thing called the internet was going to change the world. And so I thought he was so passionate. I thought I would help him out. Long story short. I continued to help him out. Next thing I know we became business partners and we grew what was considered the 11th fastest growing company here in Washington, DC in 1999. And we’re one of the few folks in the internet bubble that sold our company, got to be able to pay a lot of good folks, a lot of money as a result of it. And it was a great professional success story. Um, you know, other than that, I would tell you that for me professionally, um, it’s about making people better at what they do. And that’s really what I’ve always enjoyed in my professional career.

[00:02:00] Andrew Bull: Is there a certain joy in focusing resources in the right direction? because the resources are so precious, whether that’s money and capital or actually just people’s time. Is there like a joy in knowing that people are going to be working hard and focusing their energy in an office and not with their friends and family or playing tennis, whatever they’re doing, they’re actually using it like for a good, for good purpose. And that it’s actually going to achieve something

[00:02:28] Tim Meinhardt: Right.You know, when, when you’re the owner of an organization, it sounds as though it’s a really neat thing to do. You know, I am president of the company or I’m the chief operating officer of the company, but as your company grows, There’s a responsibility that begins to absorb you and it absorbs all those things that you’ve mentioned, you know, do we have the capital to grow? do we have the right people in the right place? Do we have the right ideas? we have the right concepts. Are we executing properly? And I share a funny story that, um, as my company grew IIS, and actually I own it with with one other fella, as we grew, you know, our first Christmas dinner we had, we had everybody bring in a dish and we sat in our, what we called our, conference room and we all shared Christmas cheer together. Three years later, um, we rented a boat and took a cruise down in Washington DC and had probably 150 people from all of our, um, for our various partners, customers, employees. And it was a wonderful thing. So suddenly you’ve grown a little bit and we threw this big party. We took, we took buses down and it was fantastic last year.That we had the company, um, we had a very large dinner and at that dinner was the first time that I really began to look at people and not know every single person that worked at my organization, so that responsibility to not only them, but to meet their spouse and to meet their spouse and have them say, thank you, Tim, for a wonderful opportunity for my husband or my wife to be working with your organization and, um, and how happy they were and how proud I was. And yet the responsibility piece of how can I make them better? How can I eliminate things that are keeping them from being their best? And those were the things that you grew with as you became from this slowly little entrepreneur to a manager of a significant organization.

[00:04:30] Andrew Bull: Yeah. And, and those things become important. So it becomes you, it’s not just about making the business successful. It’s about making the people’s lives successful, who are around the business as well.

[00:04:42] Tim Meinhardt: It’s a business is about it’s people, you know, I believe that. And, um, you know, especially in today’s world, you know, there’s something in the U S and I’m sure you’re seeing it over in the the UK as well, which you know, is the great resignation. Okay. We’ve all talked about, you know, people resigning moving on to different companies. Well, I would argue that, you know, people will say, oh, they got more money. they, left, they, they got a better position. They moved on from the company. Well, when that happens, you know, that’s a good to lose a good person is a big deal. Okay. And so if you’re not creating an environment where, um, people within your organization can be their best. Do they know where your organization is going? Okay. How do they play a role in, in being a part of that organization? If you can’t articulate that to people and how you are going to make them better and how they’ll be better as a result of working with you collectively to build something significant. Um, you’re going to lose in that battle today. And I do believe that people, um, yes, we need the right quote unquote technology, but it’s about execution and it’s about the right people. No business has ever grown without good people. And so I believe people are, are of major concern to organizations, especially today, as they’re looking to grow to the next level, especially with tech entrepreneurs, you know, that right. Talent is critical. And then how do you keep that great talent? How do you attract great talent and how do you retain great talent as they, as they as they, continue to.

[00:06:13] Andrew Bull: So this, this is what brings me around to this point. And I agree with you wholeheartedly that people are key and developing people. And given those opportunities for growth are key because growth isn’t something that ends with childhood or being a young person. It’s some people that although much of our society is set up that way. Isn’t it. You fit, you finished your degree, you’ve got professionally qualified and then people go, well, you’ve finished growing now, but actually the reality is many of us are looking for some, for some growth beyond that continued growth beyond that. And I think that’s why it makes me think that these OKRs – which we’re going to get into talking about – are important because obviously these are then attached to. What, how the business is growing also affects how people are growing, what the business is pointed towards. Also affects what people pointed towards. So I think there’s a there’s a bigger, um, idea here. And I want to get more into that, but let’s move forward into our first segment of the show and we will come back to OKR and their importance with teams and personal development. So the first segment of the show is called In this segment of the show our guest shares a secret or something about their past, which they’re going to courageously share with us today. What secret don’t people know about you, Tim?

[00:07:35] Tim Meinhardt: Well, I think the one that that I like to be able to quote unquote, hide a bit, is that, Whenever you start anything, um, you’re really not that good at it. And you know, people ask me, um, you know, how did you grow a company in technology when you were a banker? And, you know, I tell them it’s about, it’s hard work, a lot of trial and error. Well, here’s the truth, Andrew. It was a wing job. I totally, I totally took all my past experience and just applied it to what I would say as my common sense. So there was no reason to succeed other than we just kind of winged it a little bit. And so my biggest, my big secret is that, you know, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle, baffled them with a little bit of BS. And, I’ve been known to have a little bit of BS in my day. And so that is my little secret that, you know, you’re never going to know all the things that you need to know, but you better be able to stand on your feet and tell people that you do until you can figure it out.

[00:08:40] Andrew Bull: Well, they say it’s not the product you sell. It’s the story you tell. That’s the secret. In many ways to business people buy the packaging. They often don’t buy the product. So yeah, you can tell a good story that certainly part of it. And what, what would you say is your area of expertise then? What was your, your big thing that you can really hit out the park

[00:09:00] Tim Meinhardt: well, thank you. Um, and so, you know, I tell a funny story, which we’ll get into a little bit later, but, um, you know, I, I, I just became professionally a good planner. Okay. And how to get people to move in the right direction is really my best skill. You know, how do I get people motivated? How do I, how do I get them to do the things and be part of what it is that I see, okay. As the best possible outcome, and then stay excited and encourage them. You know, I always said I never wanted to hire anybody. Okay. That wasn’t smarter than me, because to me that was critically important to building a great company. So. You know, I, and I live by that hire people who are stronger and smarter than you, and then just allow them to do the things that they can do and give them the space to do so and compliment them when they do.

[00:09:56] Andrew Bull: That’s great. I love that. And how did you get started with, okay, ours? It seems, um, that you’ve had some experience of people not being very good at planning. So maybe we should just briefly explain OKRs to people. So they, because I know this is really frustrating when I read a book or listen to something and someone says an abbreviation on, I don’t know what it is straight away, then it’s really annoying because I can’t follow along. So maybe we should just tell our listeners right now, what an okay are, is so they can follow along.

[00:10:28] Tim Meinhardt: so there was a great book written by a gentleman by the name of John Doerr. It’s called measure what matters and OKRs is an acronym for objectives and key results. O, K, R. OKRs is a goal setting management system that, um, John Doerr had the pleasure of being a part of learned it from a guy named Andy Grove, who could have been arguably one of the greatest managers, In modern history for especially in technology, but people would love it. He was responsible for Intel. And so, um, John Doerr wrote this book. It’s really kind of A story of successes that people have used this and a little bit about the foundation of what objectives and key results are all about, but, you know, Google was, was famous for, Implementing OKR. In fact, if you go to our, there’s a wonderful interview with John Doerr and he talks about, you know, how, how the two, two founders of Google got into OKR, but okay. Ours is a goal setting management school. That allows organizations to align themselves as, as John would say, like never before, um, and then focus on what’s truly most important. and then be able to put some things out there that, um, that are done by the, by people, themselves as to what they think is the best way in order for us to be able to accomplish that. I was given this, this I was given this tool by, um, a good friend who actually hired me to put this in for the first time. And, um, And, when I read the book within an hour, I started jumping up and down and I started telling my wife, this book is fantastic. It’s all about what I’m all about. So I delved into it, jumped into OKR hook, line, and sinker, and really, um, it was the foundation for which a Truity began to be a successful, um, in doing OKR work.

[00:12:29] Andrew Bull: Let me just interrupt you. for a second there and ask you to jump back a step. So now we understand what OKRs are and they’re to do with planning and having goals and a target. Did you have some experiences in the past where you’re inside a business and people didn’t have these plans and goals and okay. Ours and you’re like, why is there no plan? Is this part of your origin story as well?

[00:12:54] Tim Meinhardt: It is. And, um, when I, when I sold IIS, um, I, was too young to, to be able to hang up the spurs, so to speak. And what I really wanted to do was to give back, okay. I thought what a cool, what a, what a, what a, feeling, which I never thought would ever take place of somebody sitting next to you in a board. And you’re staring there And you’re scared to death because you’re selling your company and all of a sudden they look you straight in the eye and they tell you, well, it looks like the paperwork’s in order, the money’s been transferred. Congratulations. You just sold your company and your hair stands right up on end. and I’ll never forget that sensation of walking out of that building, knowing all the good that we’ve done for not only for people, but for myself, for my family, for all these other families that had been a part of it. And I wanted to have other people have that feeling that they had before. So I began to do some consulting work and I work with smaller companies. Um, but I was amazed when the first thing I asked was, well, where’s your plan? What do you want to get accomplished this year? And I got everything from well at that time. Well, we did one of those. It’s probably in my drawer here somewhere to play. We don’t have a plan. I mean, we’re just trying to make money. And, so one of the great gifts that I received when I started IIS was we had an individual there that asked us to write an operational plan. What are we, how are we going to accomplish what it was that we wanted to accomplish? And one of the reasons we became so successful was because we were good planners. We learned how to do this. And I was amazed at companies didn’t have that capability. So, you know, it goes to the old, if you don’t know where you want to go, any road will take you there. Follow the shiny object, change your mind, confuse your employees. Um, and so. I always looked at that as say, how can I help them be successful, but they don’t have a plan. And so how do, how do I take from nothing? So I began to help people write plans. And, My last, my last, effort, um, that I was brought into ultimately, was a company that a friend of mine owned. And and we, we, we got to the point where he said, Tim, I think you’re a little bored. Why don’t we start a company? And we’ll do something, um, in what we, what we would call the it staffing world. And so I did that for several years and it wasn’t until I did a project inside that organization that had to do with strategic planning, that I realized that this was really what I truly enjoyed doing. And I wanted it to be my Swan song as I, as I began to get in the latter part of my career and my life.

[00:15:57] Andrew Bull: Love it. So you’ve got all that experience of helping companies have Good plans and effective plans. And now you want to spread it and share it with the world, which I think is a really good jumping off point as we move into the next segment of the show, which is called so in this era of the show, our guests are going to share a big idea or a contrarian idea. That’s going to help you, the listener think differently that will grow or elevate your mind that improve your team’s performance, or maybe even get you more time at the beach. So, Tim, what’s the big idea that you want to share with our audience?

[00:16:37] Tim Meinhardt: Well, wow. What a, What a, great series of questions too. To, to kind of delve into. And I think, I think the, the big idea, the big takeaway is, we’ve worked with organizations both large and small. My largest client is a $6 billion company. The smallest client we’ve worked with is one that was two and a half million. However, what I see consistent with each and every company, and it doesn’t matter the size of the company it’s could I put those handful or five or eight or 10 or whatever the number is of their senior level, either their organization committee, or their executives that are determining the direction of the company. Can I sit them in a room and ask them one question? What are the biggest priorities for your organization this year? Can you give me your top three? Nobody can. They go all over the map? Okay. So that begins to open up this conversation of, well, how can your organization truly be aligned? You know, there’s a great book written called team of teams. And, um, and I think that we’re just a team of teams is the great takeaway from what OKR is do is they take all these disparate groups and organizations from finance to it, to software development, to sales, to marketing, and they take them all and bring them together so that you are a team of teams and that alignment doesn’t take place unless the senior level organization knows what it is we want to accomplish this year. And we’re all in a complete agreement on that. What is it that we’re trying to reach over the next three to five years? And how does that align to our mission through the organization that we can begin to tell every single employee why they’re here, why they’re important, what it means to them. Okay. And how vital they are to the organization. No organization can do that. And if they are fantastic, but I’ve yet to see one that’s completely aligned. So if you’d take a visual picture and you start to look at a, at a group of people trying to push a rock up a hill, you know, if you’ve got some people pushing to the left and to the right, and not everybody pushing in the exact same direction, you’re not going to get that rock to go as fast as it could up that hill. And that’s what organizations struggle with is how do we do things effectively, not only from a quantity, but from a qualitative spin perspective as well. And so that’s the big takeaway that I think is what truly OKR to bring to the table. Is it’s this ability to get everybody to become aligned and focused on what’s most important. And I want to add one other thing. There are all kinds of systems out there and far be it for me to say one is better than the other. But I will let an organization know that the one thing that is, crucial is, is it simple? Can people repeat it? Okay. We learned this in school where if I said a sentence and we told it around the table with seven people, by the time it got back to me, I wasn’t even close to what I said. So you need things that are simple, and simplistic, and how to execute. As organizations. Andrew we’re traditionally taught to report. Okay. So what happened, which is what MBO is on. Okay. KPIs, key performance indicators management by objectives. They’re lagging indicators of what the organization has done. Imagine driving your car. Okay. Backwards and looking in the rear view mirrors to think you’re going forward Okay. You can’t go forward unless you are looking at leading indicators. What is it that your organization is doing this quarter? What is it they want to execute on? Let them look forward and create their own goals. Imagine that people traditionally don’t know how to set goals and organizations. They believe they do. Okay. They come from the top down. They’re told, well, sorry if I will ramble on about a story, but no one. Okay. Realistically, if they’re told to do something, we’ll do it as passionately as if they’re the ones that make the choice and say, I’m going to accomplish this. So that’s the big takeaway and you can, you can, go down the line, but organizations aren’t aligned and aren’t focused. and as a result, they don’t get the best out of what they could get from an organization.

[00:21:24] Andrew Bull: okay. All right. There’s a lot to unpack there. And I really enjoyed listening to your perspective on that. One of the things that struck me in the first part of what you said Is about perhaps this isn’t just about a cold, um, objective business strategy thing, right? It’s not just going into XL or going up on a whiteboard and like writing. We want to put, get 30% more website visitors this year. It’s not just about these cut. What, what, what are kind of cause cold analytical kind of things. Right. A huge part of what we’re saying is for this to work, we need the culture to be right. And so when you’re delivering those OKRs and installing them into your business, it’s not just so much about having the OKRs right. But also making sure the team are aware of them and your embodying them the right way into the business.

[00:22:25] Tim Meinhardt: Absolutely. And, and, and, you know, plans fail Andrew plain and simple plants fail and they fail consistently for the same reasons. And I’m going to touch on a couple of these with you real quick, because you mentioned at first, like how do you decide, okay. If one person tells you what it is that we’re going to do, The chances of an entire organization going, oh yeah. That’s exactly what we want to do. May not be correct. Where if you have collaboration and discussing. Okay. And let’s say you take five senior level executives and they go through a process together and they collectively five of them determine what’s the most important thing that an organization needs to accomplish. There’s one thing that happened that they don’t even realize that they had a part of it. So they bought in, okay. They bought into this. Hey, I’m the one I had a part of this we’ll imagine that same feeling. If it went all the way down and all the way back up the organization that these were done collaboratively. Where people had a chance to have input. There’s a tremendous amount of buy-in. You know, I tell a funny story about, you know, we, we go through great lengths to hire great people, and then all we want to do is tell them what to do I mean, it doesn’t make sense to me. You want to hire good people and ask them. Based on what we think your duties and responsibilities are, how would you best accomplish this? Allow them to work with their team to collaboratively, come up with goals. Okay. And what it is they want to accomplish. Now let’s have some common sense here is that there are some basic natures to an organization to function effectively. Okay. There are budgets that are essentially it made, but this is about asking people to be the best they can be. So collaboration is a big part of it and, you know, making everyone aware, um, one of the things with OKRs, it’s extremely, when you first start to will uncomfortable is imagined sharing all of your goals that you’ve come up with with every single person in that organization. Wow. It’s, that’s a little bit of intimidating. What happens is you don’t want to look like you’re failing so you don’t set them as aggressively. But what people learn is that people are we’ll set them aggressively. And then what can you do today? How can we help people accomplish things? So this is a very positive approach to allowing people to be able to set their targets. You know, I had a great thing happened to me. I lost almost 50 pounds in the last, um, seven months. Now, if my doctor would have told me to lose 50 pounds, I’d have laughed at him. I said, there’s no way I chose it. It was me. So when I chose it, I then chose my method. I then said, I bought this. I’m going to give this a shot. Okay. I’m going to stand up to all my friends. You guys, aren’t going to believe what’s going to take place here in the next six months. So that ability to set your own goal. Okay. When the doctor said, Hey, Tim, you gotta drop some pounds here. You get COVID, you’re an avid golfer. You’re not going to be able to play late in your life unless you make some lifestyle changes. So same thing in business, it happens that way. So when you can make your team aware of why they’re important, having them collaboratively together, making things. Um, the, what they want to accomplish, knowing that the organization has already said, Hey, this is where we want to go over the next few. Next, not only, this is our mission, these are our long-term goals. This is what we want to do annually. And this is what we got to get done in the next 480 hours. This quarter it’s compelling. It gets people up in the morning. It gets them excited. Isn’t that what organizations really want. Andrew, they want. excitement. They want passion and they want people doing something that they can agree on that they they’ve had a chance to be able to have some input.

[00:26:21] Andrew Bull: Yeah, I think that’s true. You know, passion and commitment and excitement are important, but it sounds like organizations need to be quite mature and okay with the truth for this to work as well, Because a lot of organizations function on what I call hiding well, really hiding. So the leaders might choose to hide away because they don’t want to be exposed as like having flaws and weaknesses. And so they won’t share everything with their team members and the team members won’t want to get involved and share an opinion because they don’t want to look weak or foolish. Um, so instead of having this spirit of truth and openness about how we can achieve these ambitious goals and how we can all change the business and improve the business to get there, we don’t do it because we’re too scared. So I suppose part of this is a bit of a mindset jump as well for people as well. Right?

[00:27:20] Tim Meinhardt: It is a very strong leap of faith that some managers. they struggle with. And I’ll tell you millet the the folks that are in the military, struggle with it as well. That that’s a different story, but I want to touch on something you said. in, in setting goals, if you were to say, I want to, my goal is to go to Mars and I made it to the moon. That was pretty successful. Okay. So setting those goals high and really going after them, um, is, is, is very admirable. And you want to create a culture where failing is not a fireable offense. Imagine that where if you fail, it’s not, you don’t get fired for it.

[00:28:01] Andrew Bull: Well, you talk about going to the moon. How many, you know, how many attempts did NASA have to make to get a rocket up into space before they got to the moon? Quite a few. I think it was like 13.

[00:28:12] Tim Meinhardt: and you know, and, and we talk about that as what we call our OKR journey. Look, you’re not going to get all this right out of the. Okay. Do you know that 70% mathematically, according to the OKR software folks, over 70% of these OKR programs fail, it’s why we’re in business. We don’t want people to fail. We have a proven methodology on how to make this successful in your organization. It’s really hard sometimes to get, you know, a second chance to make a good first impression. So what happens is you started off people get the wrong impression of OKR. Ah, we don’t like its management flavor of the month or out of this, you know, I didn’t have I didn’t have, my say. I don’t like the way it’s going. And and it falls off. But the OKR journey really what it is, it’s about failing forward and continuing to go on and having that excitement and that passion for success, that knowing success is not a straight line. And it just is wrought with, with successes and challenges and understandings, as you continue to grow as an organization. So I couldn’t agree with you more that culturally you have to be in a place, you know, and I, I ask owners, look, this might be a little Hara uncomfortable for you, but you know, now there are certain things and I’m just going to say this, that sometimes companies really don’t want to share it. Cause it doesn’t work. It works to the detriment of the success of the organization, but for almost every other circumstance, um, having people know what you’re involved in, what I’m going to accomplish, I’m going to try, we’re all human. Okay. We all, we all try our best. And that’s what you’re asking of your employees is to do their best and try them.

[00:29:58] Andrew Bull: There’s obviously some exceptions, like you say, have some organizations where you need to keep some things secret, but I would think for most businesses now that they need to be changing or trying to evolve and trying to be more progressive about how open it up, because we’re in a time of huge uncertainty. Everything is in flux and changing all the time. And if your team members know what the goals are of the business and OKRs, then they’re more likely to be able to think about things and be able to help the business avoid obstacles down the road that, that, the management team might have missed. You know, maybe Bob in the warehouse goes, oh, you know, I know we’re trying to cut electric costs by 50% this year, but I’ve seen in the newspaper this week that this big thing is coming up and it’s going to me and we can’t do that.

[00:30:50] Tim Meinhardt: You’re a hundred percent correct. You know, some of the best ideas for organizations come from the people that have their hands in it every day, you know, management’s role is to help eliminate the things that are keeping people from being the best they could possibly be. What is it that we can help you with the get rid of, in order for you to be able to really help us now, if they don’t know where you’re going. How can they do that? Okay. And I think that’s the management’s role is being able to be open and honest. Develop that trust and openness to share with them. This is what we want to accomplish. Okay. And how can you help us get there? What is it that you can do to be the best at what you do? And I think that’s where, you know, that, that getting that organization to say, gosh, there’s a better way of doing this, you know? Um, that’s where that mindset changes and that’s where the entire organization realizes wow. I’m being empowered. Okay. And as I mentioned earlier in the show, you know, today’s big thing with employees are they’re, they’re going to jump to the next great story. Okay. If they’re not having a chance to be empowered, to be asked what they think okay. To not know the direction of the organization, Um, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to what it is that your competition may share with them. And you do not want to lose good talent. In fact, the object is to attract great talent, retain great talent and give them the ability to do what they do best and that’s success for your organization.

[00:32:36] Andrew Bull: And it made me think of. Maggie in the Simpsons. Now you have to go with me with this idea here, because I’m thinking about Maggie with her small steering wheel in the back of the car, in the Simpsons titles. And I’m thinking that rather than a business, just having Homer upfront with one steering wheel, in fact, a modern business is full of lots of Maggies. We’ve lots of small steering wheels, which are driving the business and steering the business towards where it wants to be. And that that’s actually just the reality of this modern intelligence led businesses that we now, we now, operate in. So in fact, this idea, you know, if you’re not empowering your team by helping them know where they need to go, then part of your vehicle is not going to be heading in the right direction.

[00:33:27] Tim Meinhardt: Couldn’t agree with you more. And that’s the team of teams, you know, if you have one person pushing a little left and another person pushing just a little bit, right? Because they’ve got an agenda of their own, or I don’t care what Bob says, I’m going to do this. I think this is the right way to go. If you don’t have complete agreement. Okay. And, and this is not easy. Okay. We set aside our. Okay for people to talk about this so that they can come up with the right phrase, the right, the right understanding of what is critically most important and agreed upon for the organization to accomplish. And once that’s there, you share that with people, you let them know where we’re at, what we’re trying to accomplish and how can they best then do their job. Even down to the person, answering the phone on customer, support the person on the floor, taking care of, of making sure things are clean, The person that’s delivering things, people that are finishing things, making sure that they’re quality oriented. If they know what it is, the organization, once their actions reflect that. Okay. But if they don’t know, Okay. they’re doing what they think is best. Okay. Or they’re just going through the motions and that’s what you don’t want in an organization. You want that excitement and passion for them, knowing that what I’m doing may seem. That it may seem like I’m in my cube or I’m doing what I’m doing, but I know what I’m doing. And I know the way to answer that question that that particular customer has with me. If it’s customer support in a way that’s going to help our business in the long haul, because we’re all about quality. We’re all about, you know, keeping our customer happy because we know we have to get to this level. We want that referral. We want whatever that need. So that person feels empowered because they’re making great decisions and, you know, that’s why we hired them. We actually interviewed people. Okay. We hired the best people we could to do the best that we can.

[00:35:29] Andrew Bull: Yeah, cause there’s all those,

[00:35:31] Tim Meinhardt: yeah, go ahead.

[00:35:32] Andrew Bull: there’s all those small decisions that our team members have to make on a daily basis. So like, for example, if we’re talking about a burger shop, which I’m using as an example, which won’t be typical with the people listening to the show, but I’m using it as an easy example because people get it. But if I’m serving up burgers, do I give out free sachets of catch-up or do I charge customers for sachets when they ask us for them, which seems like something really small, but then that comes back to what you’re actually trying to achieve as a business.

[00:36:02] Tim Meinhardt: Right? Couldn’t agree with you more, you know, there’s three things in business and you, you fashion a business on these three things. It’s price, quality service. Now you have to choose to, to be successful. It’s up to you. It could be price, quality, price, service, quality, service, whatever it is, that’s how you begin to frame your business. And that’s how people begin to act in your business. And that ultimately those, and you’re absolutely right. And I love the analogy about a thousand Maggie steering the wheel. Right. Right. Because think of all the decisions, all the little mini decisions and actions that are done on a daily basis. In order for a company to truly be successful, no manager can watch all that. Okay. What you want is what, what were they shooting for? What is it they wanted to accomplish and then asking them how they’re doing? Okay. How are you, doing? What are you? what are your priorities? Okay. And what can I do to help you do your job better? Because that’s really the management’s role is helping them do their job better because all we want is the result because we’re essentially being asked to produce a result as well. And, um, and I think, you know, And, I will mention one other thing here. You know, we all talk, we all think traditionally about alignment from vertically, but imagine horizontally as well, where finance now understands more about sales as plate sales understands more about finance. What, what it is that they’ve got to get done and marketing understands operations and operations understands it and it understands Where they’re all working together rather than getting in everybody’s way or pointing fingers, which is the worst. They didn’t do their job. I don’t know what those people over there are thinking and doing. They’re certainly not doing what we think is most important, Those discussions, Um, but amongst other teams begin to change and Think of that. Think of those. Think of taking all these disparate teams and bringing them together with a collective understanding that, of course that’s what we want to do. It makes decisions, it makes choices so much easier for organizations as they move forward. And they’re happier to be true.

[00:38:17] Andrew Bull: Yeah. And you can get, you can have teamwork like while the, the whole team aren’t there either, because if, you know, like, oh, actually, you know, Bob from accounting is going to need this in two months because this is our shared goal. Well, I’ll just set that up for him now. And he’ll just find that I’ve done that for him already, because I’m thinking about that now. So we have all these nice, more joined up team moments happening and less friction. and I certainly think moving away from a siloed business where people kept in their own separate cells is a really healthy thing to do. Have you got, well, I’ve got two other questions to ask you here before we move on and wrap up this segment. I’m not sure if you’d be able to answer them, but I’ll give it a, I’m going to go to ask you anyway. What’s the weirdest OKR that have been set or the most bizarre ones.

[00:39:07] Tim Meinhardt: Well, um, gosh, so I had one woman. Okay. Who I loved. Okay. She was so close. To hitting her goal for the year, because if she hit this goal, she got to be able to go on the company retreat to Kant Kuhn. She was an internal recruiter. Okay. So when she set her one objective for the last quarter of the year, her objective had nothing to really do with what you would call a business objective. She wrote one word can tune, and that was her objective and she was focused on it. And so, you know, I loved it because I remember telling Christine, this is fabulous. She goes, I’m so pumped. My key results are going to be this, this and this because I’m going to can’t Coon. That’s my objective. Totally different than what somebody else might say is their objective, but I’ve found it to be so extremely refreshing. And, um, I’ll share with you another example of that. I, I, that I love about OKR was I was working with an operational team this was their first go round. And the leader of the team, wasn’t really convinced. She goes, well, I’m not in sales, so why do I need a stretch goal? Why, why is it important for me? I said, well, it’s very important because you’re in a support role unless, you know, unless, you’re doing the right things, you’re going to, you want to help the salespeople become successful. Ah, that’s it. My team knows what to do, blah, blah, blah. Well, we went into this session. She left after 30 minutes and I had her team for 30 minutes on my own. And so we finished. And I said, all right, really? What is our objective here? And they basically came down to say, we are here to make the sales organization better. And I thought, what a great objective for this group. And when I shared it with the leader, she said, wow, that’s, that’s, that’s, pretty good. And I’m like, good. It’s fabulous. Because they knew that everything they were doing okay. From a key result perspective, which is the, how are we going to get it done? The objective is the, what is, they knew every day they were excited because that was their objective. That’s what they really wanted to get done. Um, and you know, it’s funny when you think about Bazaar, um, um, I I would, I would be hard pressed to say bizarre. I would say. That, um, I have found some conversations to be very interesting. Um, I had one with an organization that had their legal department. Okay. We’re doing OKR. So I’m a big believer in legal departments. Now you could say, wow, how do they do OKRs? Well, of course they’re involved in the organization. I mean, you know, the last thing in the world you want, they may not be stretching their goals, but there are projects that they must get done in order for organizations to be able to be as productive as possible. And the, the sales team laughed because they said, well, she always gets 10 out of tens on all of her key results and that’s not fair. And I said, well, imagine if she didn’t, you know, glad that if she did, but she got five out of 10. Yeah. We had five people Sue us. We’re going bankrupt. You know, all we had, you know, we had two lawsuits. I didn’t care what deal with those this quarter. I said, of course you want her to have 10 out of tens. They, they laugh. They, they, they, they call it our Bo Derek, the perfect ten. Cause she always got 10 out of 10. I think those three instances, they stick out in my head as things that, um, that I laugh about. But bizarre, I will tell you nothing’s bizarre. I had one individual that came to me and said, Tim, I, I believe we can do since COVID is now in full force. I believe the organization could save a lot of money if we started doing our classes remotely. And I said, well, what does that look like? And so he said, well, I’m going to do some homework on this and I’m going to come back. he went on this for three solid quarters. Okay. And eventually built an online training program for this organization. Probably save them. I would say clearly half a million dollars or more in expenses on an annualized basis just by doing things. But he started it all on his own and said, I’m going to take this shot. And the first time he did it, not many people took notice second quarter, Hey, what what’s he doing over there? Third quarter? Oh my gosh, there it is. Boom. It had taken place wasn’t that Anything that anybody said, but he recognized and saw something that said, if I put a little bit of extra elbow grease into this, I think in a few quarters, it’s going to really show that an idea I had really came to fruition. So, you know, the great takeaway is allow people to be creative. Some of your best ideas for your organization haven’t even been discovered yet. And it’s because the people haven’t been given the freedom to be able to discover it themselves. And you know, that’s how Amazon has been so successful. Bezos talks about, um, you know, inputs and outputs, but he likes people to be able to take a shot. Look, you may not succeed, but take a shot and be articulate. Think it through, take a shot and if your organization has that type of approach toward its people, great things happen.
[00:44:50] Andrew Bull: I agree. Unlocking the potential in your business is a powerful thing to do. I think We’ve learned a lot today about oKR. Where can people go to take easy first steps with this big idea?

[00:45:00] Tim Meinhardt: So I would be remiss if I didn’t say there are a couple of great books out there, um, on objectives and key results. One is measure what matters by John Doerr, DOE R R the other is by a woman by the name of Christina Watkins. And she has a book called radical focus. And then another one called radical focus, 2.0 both great books. Radical focus is an easier read. It’s a fable based on a fable radical focus, two dot O a little deeper insight. But again, based on this fable, um, I will also tell you that, um, you know, we have a resources page at a Truity one eight T R U I T Y. Number one, dot com and just go to our resources page. There are some wonderful videos that I’ve saved that I’ve found online or on YouTube that are there for your viewing. One by John Doerr is fantastic. Um, the other thing I would tell folks, if they’re listening is, you know, we have a podcast, Andrew, you, and I’ve talked about that. It’s OKR S okay. RS, Q and a podcast on, there are several dozen of, of folks that have worked with us telling their story. What happened to them? How did they feel about this? What did they learn and what is their organization become as a result of it, we also have some excellent subject matter experts on there discussing objectives and key results. The other thing I would tell people is, look, if you have interest and you want to talk about it, you know, reach out to me, Tim at Trudy, I’d love to take some time scheduled, 30 minute discussion with you to learn a little bit about what’s going on in your brain. And how, okay. Ours might be able to help you be able to get the things that you want out of your business, which is

[00:46:55] Andrew Bull: Awesome. That’s brilliant. Thank you very much for that, Tim. Let’s move on quickly to our next segment, which is called so in this segment, our guests will share how they stay on track positive and empowered. How do you do that, Tim?

[00:47:10] Tim Meinhardt: I’ll talk about it in a very simplistic term. Sometimes you find something you really truly enjoy and when you really enjoy it, you can become very passionate about it. And when you’re passionate about something, you have a tendency to be able to stay passionate about it, and truly love to see what it is that. Becomes of it. And so what motivates me and keeps me motivated is this ever growing sense of passion that I have about what it is that we’re doing for organizations and, you know, seeing the end result, it, it, it it’s really compelling because when somebody starts out with an idea and suddenly we have a fast track program where in 30 days it’s all laid out in front of them. And the response is, wow. And you see it come to life where it, before it was considered. It was conversation, but when it’s suddenly written down, thought through, agreed upon and put on paper, that’s pretty compelling. And that, to me, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment, not only for myself, but really more importantly for the people that I’m serving. So when people ask, what, what, what keeps me going it’s I can’t wait to do the next one because they’re all different. But to see the, see the faces and the joy of people when they get that aha moment where, oh, wow, this is so real. I can see it for the first time. That’s what turns.

[00:48:53] Andrew Bull: That’s fantastic. I love the fact that you’ve got so much joy in your purpose and the realization of the results for people. I think that’s brilliant. Let’s move forward swiftly to the next and final segment of the show, which is called so Tim’s briefly going to recap the big takeaways and results that you can get inside your business. If you start actioning the ideas that he shared with you today. So what’s the big result that tech leaders can get. They action. Your big idea.

[00:49:24] Tim Meinhardt: Imagine having an organization that’s completely aligned and focused, you’re going to find much better results as as a result of it, but also you’re gonna attract and retain great talent and great talent is what builds great organizations and the other great takeaway here is you’d love to be able to do this right the first time, because it’s really hard. To do it a second chance to make a great first impression. And remember, it’s not going to be perfect out of the gate, but stay with it because as they say, this is an OKR journey and the journey is yours.

[00:50:04] Andrew Bull: Awesome. I love that. And if people want your help getting this big result, where can they go?

[00:50:10] Tim Meinhardt: You can reach out to me, or,

[00:50:21] Andrew Bull: And and are you a really scary person to contact Tim? [00:50:26] Tim Meinhardt: If you’ve listened to this and you think I’m scary than that, I’m scary, but I’m not. I’m

[00:50:32] Andrew Bull: he’s a really friendly, great guy. So yeah. Do reach out to Tim. And what was that about your podcast?

[00:50:38] Tim Meinhardt: Well, yes. Um, we also have a podcast. Okay. RS Q and a podcast, and it’s on all the major channels. And if everybody wants to just get a sense, we have some case studies on there. I’ve got a couple dozen or more, folks that have worked with us that, , share their stories, their journey a little bit. And I think everyone finds out that they’re not alone in this. And I think that’s what it’s really all about. Being able to say it’s time for me to change the way I’m running my company and running our organization because we can do better.

[00:51:09] Andrew Bull: Fantastic. And those are very inspiring words to end on. And I’ll put all the links to Tim’s resources over on the show website. If you had to, which is the podcast website, you’ll find this episode and the links to all Tim’s resources as well. Thanks for being here today, Tim.

[00:51:30] Tim Meinhardt: Well, thank you Andrew, for having me. This was a lot of fun.

[00:51:33] Andrew Bull: Yeah. Had a blast. Thank you.

[00:51:35] Tim Meinhardt: Thank you.

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