The OKR Podcast
The OKR Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Company and Value Scaling with OKRs w/ Marcin Kleczynski

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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.

Marcin shares why OKRs are foundational for next-level growth, how they’ve motivated and engaged the large engineering organization, and how they’ve accelerated company growth. In our conversation, Marcin expands on how his OKRs are authored for impact and what’s changed in hallway conversations over the first year.

The company of Eight hundred people. Were talking about thousands of micro decisions happening every single day. Each of those incrementally add up to big strategic decision. And there's only three hundred sixty five days in the year and you're expected to produce forty percent growth. You're listening to the Okur podcast, a show for leaders who want to unlock their organizations growth potential by leveraging the Okar technique and other cutting edge strategies. While many recognize the power of objectives and key results, okay ours to accelery outcomes and foster a growth and outcomes culture, there's a dearth of information on how to do them well and reap their full benefit. That's where this podcast comes in. Will help you learn to align and measure results pervasively, manage fast, to grow fast and, most importantly, achieve the powerful objectives you've identified. Here's your host day dread pack. Mack Marson is what I think of as a phenom. So He's got this amazing company and Melmore Bites, that is defending and protecting our computers and laptops and those of really hundreds of millions of people with laptops, maybe even a billion of people. It's phenomenal. He started it from his dorm room and he grow it into this amazing company. He continues to lead it at a very high growth rate and that's spectacular stuff. And what is, I think, super interesting is not only company leading now, but that this is your this is your first run. And so, yeah, such a fresh perspective. None of the baggage that those of us are on our third company or third business or right, have, like what has to be this way because it was always this way, like I don't know how it has to be, let's just do this. I think it's such a fresh perspective. So I'm really delighted to hear I've barely held a job outside of this. So right, that's a real thing. That's a real baleful fist job of you're holding man. So far good. So let's start with the company story, right, we're just start. What's the journey? What are the gross stages? Yeah, so I started the company, actually the concept of the company, well before college. We had one of those white, crappy, you know dell computers everybody's had under their desk back in the S, and I love video games. We came from a pretty poor family out in Chicago and I would download these pirated video games. I'm like Kauz, I'm like you guys know exactly what I'm talking about. And and one day this, this, this, things just happening. I'm my computer. First of all, I think it was a purple gorilla jumping around trying to sell you crap. And and my my parents, obviously we're incredibly pissed. This is the only thing that we have, you know, of worth in the household and I've broken it within, you know, two months of having it. So of course I'm the one stuck fixing it. And and that's what I did. I went online and I found a message board full of just people that I consider superheroes today, and right there and then I posted here's what's happening, Purple Gorilla, all of that, and a woman from Belgium named Mika, I can't make this up right. A woman named Mika from Belgium came to my rescue and said here's a pamphlet of like forty pages of instructions. And I...

...was using one of these, you know, paid antivirus companies. Already. They were running there in the right hand corner yellow color in the bay area. You guys know exactly what I'm talking about. And it let the threat onto the computer and it wouldn't fix it. I said, you know, what the Hell's going on? So follow the forty pages of instructions and and the computer was clean again. But why did this happen to me? Why couldn't it fix it? Why can't we protect it? And and that's I set out to do. And that was really kind of the first, you know, inspiration of Maur Bites. I stuck around this community of people, I superheroes. I started building free APPs for them from a for dummies book. So that's how I learned everything. And and in two thousand and eight, right as I'm heading to the Universal Allinois, we launched the first version of the product called Nour Bites. Now, going a little bit backwards, my cofounder is somebody I met on this message board and he's like this thirty old guy out in Boston. I'm this fifteen, sixteen year old get out in Chicago. Imagine telling your mom that you're working with some guy on the Internet building any virus company. Needless to say, we did not meet or even talk on the phone until the company had turned over a million dollars. So that was that's an interesting one. And when we didn't meet it was like Hey, nice to see you first time after five years. Mika works for our bites for the last ten years. I've yet to meet her. Well, impressive. Yeah, fun fact on that one. That's cool. Okay, so you got two million dollars. If tell us what your mom and dad had to say about that, but my mom still thinks at the school project. So so your way over a hundred and fifty million now. So what were the girls stages like? To take us through a sort of this steps up and far word. Yeah, I mean, boy, the first hundred million was easy. I can't believe I'm saying that. It's really a slog right through the whole process. We were bootstrapped from the very beginning. You've got this kid out in the Midwest. I went to, you know, Chicago, went to University of Illinois and ran this thing out of a dorm room to through thirty million dollars. Like friends had no idea what I was doing. School had no idea what I was doing. Bruce Barely knew what we were doing. Right, my cofounder, that wasn't clear. And so you know I was actually remote for the first three or four years and not until two thousand and twelve that I moved to the bay area. And again boots trapped, because you take this guy from the Midwest, drop him in here and like everybody's spending money hand over fist, and that's not how I grew up and you know, from a poor family. So I think the first like couple of years of growth from our bites was so incognito, but nobody knew what we were doing. Everybody thought we were just this message board company building a consumer product. And yet you know, we're doing thirty million revenue. My favorite story at the University Illinois. This is how like hitting all of this was. I'm playing around. I'm in a dorm room, so you have to in the university willinois. You have to go into a dorm room your first year and we're already doing some serious cash and and and I've my computer there. I'm connected to the school network and I'm disassembling of virus with Bruce. Say have really cool stuff, really fun. I get a white page that says you've been banned from the from the school network. You've been banned from the school network. They're suspicious activity happening on your computer. Go run one of these three of your competitors. It didn't really say that, but run a run one of these three competitors or call this number and a kid no older than I shows up in the dorm room, knocks on the door says hey, I'm for my t since down at my computer runs now our bites right in front of me. I'm so like...

...that was like I've made it, you know, two thousand and nine, and and and so that was really the first stage. In Two Thousand and twelve, when I moved out here, we actually raise money from highland capital down the street. First series a really started investing down into sales and marketing, and I would say that was really the next inflection point of wow, we actually have some cash to go invest and we did it in a pretty prudent way. So and then since then it's been, you know, really formalizing the structure of the company, and I hate to say that, but it's so necessary. After a certain scale. They say, you know, at a hundred people, five hundred people and all that. It is so absolutely true. and OK, ours, I know we'll talk a little bit about that. have been a big part of that. But would you believe we put our first budget in last year and when you don't have a budget, you know what everybody does, spends money. So just and we didn't do it as a reaction, we just did it as hey, wouldn't that be nice? And and so so it just you know, you mature as you go and maybe we're a little behind on some things. Maybe I had on some things. Yeah, so tell us what the shape of the company has now. We're about eight hundred fifty people now. have been growing about a hundred fifty, two hundred people year since kind of the last couple of years. We do a very interesting, we're very unique business and that we do consumer an enterprise, and that is a really difficult thing to do right. And the whole story goes that we started as this consumer business. We charged a perpetual license. Can you believe that, like twenty five dollars forever, and to this day we honor those licenses. So if you find one on Ebay, you're really inlock. But what happened is, like people like you and I, we went home. We had the same problem. As you know, we have we had a problem, we fixed it, we went to work, we had a similar problem and then brought my our bites into work. And it's very much like the dropbox model, which is people using the the technology at home, they go to work and and so that business, the consumer business, is actually bigger because it's been around for a longer time. That's about a hundred plus million and then the enterprise business is about eighty plus and growing. So that's kind of the shape of the business. To Day. Were three hundred some people here and then really distributed across the globe. You have a strong or chief team at the table right now. As you move through those stages, what without the clean made a couple big inflection friends. What were the things that you've gained as you got to growth and one of the things that you saw go away as you got bigger? That you sort of one of the gains and losses at each of those stages. Yeah, I'll I'll give you one that's just an interesting, want of funny one, maybe. So up until maybe three or four years ago we did an all team summit, so everybody all over the world would fly into a city that I revealed like weeks before that's right. And we did planning session, we did, you know, presentations, we did like a carnival where you go around and learn different apartments and stuff like that, and then everybody goes eats and drinks and all that. And so it was really a threeday party, but everybody left with a clear line of what we're doing and it was super worthwhile and people talk about it to this day. Even then you, you people are like, Whoa, we're going to do that one day. Well, when you do the cost analysis right, five hundred people at three thousand dollars a person, you're talking about some significant amount of money that you're investing and it's hard to just fight your investors as to why you're doing that. Right. So I think that you know, definitely hurt the culture quite a bit, even though it's that scale that is really driving...

...that cost. So how do you replace that? Right? And I've had to really just help implement culture, like on a daily basis, you know, even to doing all hands every month so that we're just as aligned as we were in that regard. So I think you lose some of that. What you gain is redundancy. You gain you gain, you know, if somebody leads, you can do a battlefield promotion on like when that's your only person. Right. So I think you start getting some redundancy and can actually scale the business a lot faster. You get more ideas into the mix, right, you. Yeah, I mean there's a lot of things to gain from from growing. Yeah, and you can acquire companies, right, imagine being ten people. How do you acquire something else when you're two hundred million in revenue? You can, you can find it. You know a company that's five million and you have a customer base that that. Then you can bring that technology into. So what I think we've done really well at scale is fine companies that are two to ten people that are working on something really cool on these message boards which no major choir will ever find, like this message board, and it's like hey, you're doing some really cool stuff. Do you just want to do it for us? And we've gotten three acquisitions for less than a million dollars that are now producing twenty to thirty million dollars for us like so to be able to find those golden nuggets at scale, I think is really important. So even obviously phenomenal first friend growth story, when you think about growth. What are the set of? I don't know if it's first principles or kind of the watch where it's I can't even think about growing a company. You just think about let's make great products and at all resolve or Yep, is there more method? And the answer a year ago is yes to that, like just scope, do cool shit. The rest will get figured out. That proves to be incredibly hard at at scale. Right. So, so to grow a hundred million and then another hundred million, you're actually growing slower, right. That sucks. Law of numbers really really sucks. Right, if you're supposed to maintain forty fifty percent growth over the next ten years, that's actually harder every year. And so I you know, I think that's the hard part about growth. And so I think about it, as you know. Originally, yeah, let's just go build cool stuff, but let's also have a plan and the will get a little bit into the lineman o okrs. But at a company of Eight hundred people we're talking about thousands of micro decisions happening every single day. Each of those incrementally add up to big strategic decision. And there's only three hundred sixty five days in the year and you're expected to produce forty percent growth. Right, do the math on some of that and like things have to go really, really right. And so a plan is really, really important in that context. So even you know today it's like Oh boy, we're going to go do this partnership in like let's throw every resource at it. Well, we just maybe think about it for at least five minutes. Instead of doing that, it becomes a more of a a, you know, kind of system, systemic way of investing. So we brought in a fantastic CFO and putting an annual operating plan together and again not trying to put process along every boundary here, but let's see, if we have ten million dollars to go invest incrementally next year, where are we actually going to invest? It's not going to be first to the to the check book, which has been the case for many, many years. It's going to be who's got the best idea that we all believe in. Right. That's almost a'm getting. It's...

...smarter about how you grow the more you grow. Yeah, I mean I can. You know, I certainly have. I'll give a great example of where growth has gone wrong from our rights about six years ago, you know, we were thirty forty million in revenue and I had the bright idea of like, let's let's go build a secure backup product for our customers. We have so many consumers. If we can just sell one more damn thing to them, it's going to be we're going to be flowing in money. Right, bad way of thinking about it. So so we partnered with this company and we were just not invested in it at all. We were like, yeah, this is a great idea where if we just build something and molded and sell it to a customer, they're going to love it. And it wasn't the MOUR brights way. And that thing produced four million in revenue but took up half our time. So here we are. Special time is your most precious resource, and so are your people, and it's time. And so we've invested all these resources, all this time into something that just didn't play out, and the hardest thing for me was to then kill it, because otherwise you're dragging it along forever. And we killed it. Yeah, that's the hard but create is move it, not killing it as like competing with yourself. Yeah, get out of your own way, right. Yeah, so I mean that was a tough decision for us but ultimately was the right one for the company. We freed up all those resources to go invest in the stuff that we believed in. And they're quite a few people in the room making those keeper kill decisions. How do you think about the conversation with with the development team and the people who invested in renting up their go to market and thinking about let's let's assign some sales guys to go out and sell that and training them? Like, Oh, we're already out there. Yeah, I pull back. How did you communicate navigate through that? And they take it? In our case, and this is the interesting thing I've learned in my career, all we had to do is talk to those people and they they knew it, they saw it right. So I've a very interesting style where I actually meet with everybody at any time they want. Like yeah, maybe they'll use up my time the wrong way, but I'd rather do it than miss a golden opportunity. I just want to talk to people on the ground, like we don't we have open office, we don't have an office like so people approach me all the time and that's kind of where the idea came from is like, Hey, you know, there's some people talking about this, we should probably you know, it's not doing so well and at the end of the day you'd be surprised your people know it right, just like we talked about. Hey, listen, I had to go let a leader got at the company. Everybody already knew was going to happen before, like well, before I knew it was going to happen. It's shocking how well your culture actually operates right. So, speaking a data I happen to know you're a fairly data driven guy. To tell us why you look at data. What did they look at and what the cadence that you look at data is like. How does it help you? I'm so intuition German. I'm so happy you think I'm data driving. It means my PR is working. Hey, I saw you get on the APP. Man, I I do get on the APP. We did one of these like color things where you figure out what you are and in terms of like order of colors, I don't know you guys have done the Meyer Briggs and stuff like that. So so I'm mostly orange and well, first orange and most and then gold. So Orange is super impulsive. Want it now, need it...

...now, like no time to discuss this. Your classics, CEO, Right There, oh boy, and and gold. I'm equally gold, which is like I need an agenda, we need to be organized. I have a little bit of OCD. My discuss to be clean. So imagine those two coming together and trying to figure life out. So it's like, you know, we need to go do this now, but you better come with an agenda, better be organized, it better be and so my life is just like this constant battle of like I want to write an email quick, but then I'm gonna like slow down because I need it to be perfect. So well, it's the question. I'm just I'm just there's the orange and real good. Now the data, the data, the data, the days. So so I definitely believe that I am data driven and looking at some patterns and trends, but I don't think the key is always the data and I think you need to act on intuition, get some data from that intuition and iterate, iterate, iterate. And we have made mistakes just blindly following the the the data right. I mean I'll give you one classic example. If I was really trying to put a business case together. Ten years ago and I started this company, I would be putting a business case together that looked like following. This market is declining. There's a hundred competitors. Nobody cares about anti virus. Do you guys care about antivirus? No, but when Shit hits the fan you're calling me. So those three things that data would have filled me. Don't ever start an antivirus company and or an end point protection company. We don't like antivirus. So like, if I just blindly follow that data, I wouldn't be here today. And yet, you know, there's a reason those competitors are dying off, that they don't care about their customers. They're gutting R and D for sales and marketing, the threats evolving and they're not protecting their users. Right. So, again a good example of where data may not just be the best application. Now I do actually like people around me looking at the data, and that's where the gold comes in, right. Yeah, you need the structure around it. So, speaking of paying attention your customers, paying attention to your markets, your your intuition about what was going to be true in the security and in point protection market, in the future was spot on right. Well, bad actors. I didn't think he's gonna be this bad. I mean, if you guys look at the market in general and look at the news every single day, I mean in just the last I don't know, three months, I would say, if you if you look at where we spend our time, it's actually, I'd say twenty percent looking at our competitors and maybe where the market is going, and eighty percent sent following the thread actors, and we've intentionally done that from the very beginning. A little history lesson the way a lot of these traditional antivirus companies were built is they would write signatures for every single threat that's out there, meaning they'd find a file on the Internet, fingerprint it and send those fingerprints out to all of you. And that world has completely changed. In two thousand and eight, two thousand and nine, two thousand and ten, the criminals got out hold of that strategy and said, well, we're just going to morph these files on the fly, so when you and I go to the same website, we're going to get infected with something very different. So we could have followed our competitors done all the signature writing, but here's Bruce and I, who aren't even talking on the phone because my parents would allow it, trying to figure out a way,...

...like to solve this. And so we said, let's go just follow the thread actors on these, you know, underground forums, and let's see what they're talking about, let's see what they're actually doing. And we pissed some people off so much that they started saying like explicit of in the code of the of the viruses, because they were shocked as to how could we possibly be detecting their malware before they even picked up the keyboard to write it. So to me, that produces a better product that then can get taken to the market. Then looking at you know your your market and your competitors. So like go identify the problem you're solving, not what your competitors are doing. And at the same time, the twenty percent spent on our competitors. One good example of that is the way our customers are buying and the way our competitors are positioning is this managed service provider model and the in the SMB. So we're very, very sm be driven. So a lot of our customers are small medium businesses. We have twenty Fivezero of them, and the because security and it has become so complex, they are outsourcing the management of that to manage service providers, so companies that literally their bread and butters to service a dentist shop, a muffler shop and so on. If we just kept building our technology in the way we were, we'd never get an opportunity for that. And so again, analysis of that, looking at how our customers are buying, what our competitors are offering and then up leveling. That was really the strategy there. But again, I think eighty percent of the time is spent looking at the thread actors, at the Malor itself, at the at the attacks that happen and going well, how could we have prevented that? Forward yet cool. So why is results alignment in your are important to you now and maybe more important now than in the past. But why does it matter? Why even think about the whole OK are thing? What led you there? And then what happens if you don't have a line? Yeah, how do you think about that? So two years ago the way we said goals was you kind of set goals in a spreadsheet and then at the end of the quarter you'd get paid on them and I never saw any of them. Your managers, like we never saw any of them, and which is interesting. I'll table that for a second. We started working on Ok ours what now, seven months ago, eight months ago, at the beginning of the year, and before that we had our first any operating plan and we aligned strategically. The Ok ours were simply a way to drive, you know, the results in the organization and we came up with twenty initiatives for the year and I actually thought that was a lot. But if I think about it, those twenty initiatives were now aligned across the company, whereas before there were probably two hundred initiatives that everybody was putting in their goals and working on things that maybe they thought were important to the business but really weren't so. And the goals around these twenty initiatives were really simple that everybody could consume and understand it. We're going to grow, we're going to get a little more effective with how we spend our money and we're going to take care of our people. And under each underneath each of those was okay, grow, here's some product lunches that we need to get done and nothing else matters. Under efficiency it's like hey, we spend a lot of money on itws let's go figure that part out right. I'm sure everybody in the room is probably I'm the same same page there. And under people it's, you know, how are we going to progress people's careers? And actually it was a little engineer joke. It was a little recursive. It's like, Ok ours...

...were under our people initiative and if we initiative them through, Ok ours. So that was pretty interesting. But yeah, I mean I thought, Hey, twenty initiatves, that's so much, but then you really think about it and eight hundred people, three hundred initiatives, everybody's working on their own own thing and and then coming, you know, at the end of the quarter saying hey, I did everything I said I was going to do. Well, none of that mattered, unfortunately, I'm really sorry to say. So that does hurt. Hurts me, hurts that person, like if I can't proudly exemplify somebody's work, I feel like crap. And they're so proud of it, but why are you working on that? And it's hard to hold that back when you see the work. Right. Yeah, now, look, I certainly think that there's time and energy for people to spend innovating and maybe I'm just not seeing it. So by no means am I saying just because you did something that wasn't in the scope of our aop or plan, it's wrong. And we even have a competition called idea bytes where people come and present cool stuff they're working on. That is stuff that they spent their time working on outside of work or even during work hours, and you know, we pay pretty cool the kind of cash bonuses and all that for that. Yeah, one of the conversations I've a lot with people is they still have five objectives and you've got three at the top, a bove five and of Krs for each one of those. Wow, isn't that a lot? But your point that when you really think about an organization to any scale, and I think everybody's working on something, actually it's already a lot. You just it's just a noncohesive, misaligned. Well, in the care or so take a lot the cares helped quantify some of this stuff because we have we historically have not been outcome driven. So if our if you look at our Ok ours before Ok Ares, they were like launched this product. Well, that's great, and I'm sure it'll be successful, but what does success actually mean? And so at least taking the Ok our session was, you know, three hours per individual at the company. It wasn't monumental, but what it did was create at least some sense of purpose of how you do a line to the to the top level goals. How am I helping the company grow? Right? Well, now I can actually concretely say that. Before it's like well, I think I am doing this, so I'm doing that. So it's I know it sounds silly, but just the process of sitting in the room and having those conversations of like what are good our goals going to be as a team? And we did team o cars, so we we didn't want to go in and say, well, if you don't hit your Krs, you're going to be you know, you're going to be exited or anything like that. It's like no, let's strive for what's what's best, best possible. And and you know, in the first quarter it was very important for me to not react like you only hit fifty percent of the best possible or you seriously don't react. And people did. They were ambitious. They're like, I'm not going to get waxed because, you know, I said, a really high goal and it's and and that's been pretty cool seeing that and awesome on you that you didn't react. It's it's great encourage the lift the reaone instead of punish the well, I didn't know how far to reach and I mess that up right. That's not the that's not the downside. Yeah, and and, frankly, we've seen an acceleration of growth this year. So I'm not saying it's a you know, it's see you,...

...but we are sitting to see. For me, JE RUN OFF. So tell us a little bit about what you saw as you and couple ways UN I had a conversation about you talking to somebody out in the Yorg and thinking, Hey, why aren't you working on this? And they these are my kr parking on these things. Right. Tell us a little bit about what you observed, particularly that first quarter cycle. Right, how did it impact how you interacting with them and what you saw your leadership team interacting with you? I think it was before four we actually started the process of getting the teams in a room. There was a lot of skepticism. Right, Oh, here's just another way that they can hold this accountable. Here's just another way that I'm going to get paid or not paid. So we really had to do a good job of again not reacting and having healthy conversations that were engaging. And you, you actually helped us with our specific executive one right and you remember. I remember you walking in and saying this is going to be three hours, two hours and fifty minutes of pure agony and pain ten minutes of radical clarity down to the minute. So I said the same thing to the next level of managers. I said, listen, I'm an expert in this. It's gonna be two hours of fifteen minutes of Pade Magny and ten minutes of radical clarity. And it just happened like that. It just happened all the way through the organization like that and I actually thought that was really funny because again, it was, you know, time slice. So when you exactly how long this this should take, and and it worked out. And you know, there were definitely some nonbelievers, but they came along for the ride and I think now they believe. And the second time the reset that we did the because we did it first half instead of a quarterly. The reset we did for the third quarter. I thought was really easy. First thing we did was those all still work. Those things weren't important. Cut them out, and I think that was forty minutes. So thirty nine of pain, one of them as long as people walk out of the room. But okay, I love these, let's go do it. That's all that matter. You feature request. You should have a pain button, like when we're done. How bad was it? It's going up all ping back down, kids. We must be done. What is it? Some of the surprises you saw, in particular, skip level, like when you looked at the below your leadership team, like l four hundred five teams. What did you see there that surprised you? How do they do they lean into best possible that. They lean out? No, I certainly think they leaned in. What was shocking to me, not shocking to me, but really interesting to me, was people went in there and started updating on their own, like there was no you know, calendar invites. Send figure out your krs. There was no, nothing like that. In fact, I've now been in, I mean at least three or four conversations a week where people talk about that as they're okay, are like no, that's one of our ow cares will get it done. Don't worry. We were in our retention meeting and hey, this life cycle stuff. Oh No, no, that's an okay, we're getting it done. We're getting it done, we're measuring it. So just now there's a common language, whereas before it's like these random goals that weren't aligned with anybody in a spreadsheet that was managed locally, right, and maybe you submitted into work day, you know,...

...as a goal at the end of the quarter, and it's like, we have no visibility, there's no way to see how that aligns to what you're doing. So the way that people are talking about in self updating and and I think that's creating just radical focus. So that's pretty cool. Yeah, now we're bites is doing OK ours at every team level. So you really localized okay ours broadly across the organization and every team human, every team members included. Why is it important to, for example, include the engineering team or the sales team? We aren't as mature in terms of agile and so if you look at some of our KRS, they are to implement agile processes, they are to look at velocities, that kind of stuff. So that's number one. Two, I think we are absolutely aligned in terms of doing team o krs and, in this context, getting product and engineering in a room and doing team o Krs together because, and I've seen this now through a couple of sessions, our engineers are not just order takers. They don't just pluck it, take it off the off the back against I'm going to go do this. They want and actually are more kind of motivated when they see, while I'm bringing revenue in. So those, those processes from a product management and engineering perspective are, in my opinion, to sterile. And when you bring them into an lkr session and they go, we're going to drive how much million in revenue next quarter, gets people aligned into here's a good example. We have a we have at tension issue that we're working on right now in a certain product. Got The team in a room, not just a product team, not just engineering team, and we made it a KR to get to a to a retention rate. Well, you may say, well, how's the engineering to be going to do that? Well, to deliver and even generate ideas into doing that. So I don't know. It just kind of creates a sense of purpose on a quarterly, on a an annual, annual basis. So I think there's a lot of creative ways to do that, not because of the okay are stuff, but yes, there's been there's been ran see them come together. Yeah, yeah, no, so. But but like I did the OK our session. I'm the I'm the head of engineering unfortunately right now, and I did the Okr session with the team and I set growth, I set efficiency and I said I said people, okay, what are we going to do? Well, on the people side, they're going to put career plans and leveling in for their engineering team. On the efficiency side, we said we're going to take down these three services and and because they're costing US money, they're not providing value. On the growth side, we said we're going to shift projects forward. We're not going to deliver to the road map, we're going to deliver a month before the road now that's our okay, oh, that's our stretch. So they're like hell, yeah, we're going to. We're gonna under promise and overdeliver. The product team is not going to know him. So have OK ours improved cross organization and Cross functional collaboration and and if they have, what have you seen no team confunction in Asiloh, right. And so this is actually causing those conversations in that interlock to happen more aggressively, whereas before you do it maybe once for the annual operating plan, and even then maybe not as well as you should. This is causing people to even down to updating their krs. They've got to go get that information from another system,...

...from another team, and those conversations are happening. So I just before, I swear they were setting goals in Asyloh, I'm going to go deliver this product, and then product saying we're going to go deliver this parct. You look at the two and they're not even align right now you're actually looking at it and I feel it's at least more directionally together. And and it starts with you know, what's the three goals and what are the initiatives and how to? So that the nice thing, and again it's maybe that system implementation detail, but the fact that you can pull them up the ranks right. So if my goal is a retention goal, then that can be shared by the team underneath me the team underneath them and and be kind of systematized. Right. How has o Kurs and both the process and and the workboard platform, in the transparency that that brings. How those things impacted culture at your company? Well, the fact that people are talking about okrs like that, that is a cultural shift of hey, we want to be held accountable, we have a way to be held accountable, whereas before it's there was no talk about performance in the company, and I know that's a very maybe CEO focused mindset, but people do want to feel like they know how they're doing and standing in the company, even teams. Right. So I don't know, I can't describe that impact, but I can sense it where even when people talk about Okrs, it's like they're really thinking about this. Nobody was talking about mbos before that. Nobody was talking about that spreadsheet that they had in their pocket that said here's what I'm going to go do. Right, they were hiding from that. This brings it front and center, like this is what we're going to accomplish as a team and we fail together, we win together, and we're going to go try to win. I think about alignment and accountability. Sometimes we say them, particularly if you're you're the CEO. When you're saying it, it might sound like it's really this forced march to those things, but if you flip it on its head and say, well, what does it look like? We're without alignment, without accountability. From an employees perspective, it sounds like this. I don't know if this work matters and I don't think anybody cares anyway. That's the absence of a line, in the absence of accountability. That's not that's not a pretty place to be your work. It's uninspired, it's uninteresting. It's a Polish my resume because it's just fruitless being here right. So I think they have a bit of a bad rap as labels, but man, I think they're so foundational to how to people feel great about what they do and their contribution and then get line a site to why that matters to somebody like Marson and want to connect and be a part of the thing he's building. And what's really been fun is is me to go for five levels deep in common on a Kre and people freak out like my God, he's this is awesome, like here, which is which is so not me, because I just like walk around and office and shorts and tank office. But people are like he looked, he looks is all right. Well, I guess that's cool. So, yeah, I think they want to know that we can. Yeah, they want to know. Early on, the the workboard team that served as okay are coaches for your leadership team and for other teams in the organization, helping really author great objectives and and really outcome oriented, key results. Tell...

...us a little bit about how you authored the company Okay Ours and what did you think about as you wrote those okay ours? Well, again, I'll try to answer that question in terms of kind of how this construct came to be. So so, when we set the goals, it was easy to just say, grow thirty percent, drive ten million out of cost and make our people happier. All that could we could have, you know, flown with that. But we did it a little bit of a different way. We said, you know, grow thirty percent so that we can invest more and so that we can protect even more people from malware, right, and that's like that's a mission statement. Right, operate more efficiently so we can invest that money into our customers. Are People in our technology, right, make our now we'renots better so that that they can fight the enemy even better. Right. So like that was that was step one, and and then step two in the second line they had to come up with some impactful statement to it's not like you could just say, okay, then we're going to take out ten million in costs. Like in engineering they said we're going to build the best engineering Ninja's in the world, right, and here's how we're going to do it with the these Kr. So they made it a little bit more fun and I think that made it resonate through the organization instead of like the sterile kr of seventy percent, eighty percent pretention whatever. And it's right. So I think if you can have fun from the top, it'll it'll get like get funny. Yeah, do you think people have forgotten those goals? No, because we got we got passionate about them, like get funny in it. Nobody will ever forget those five goals. If you go to your company right now and say give us the top three five strategic initiatives, like you're a year started seven months ago, do you think they still remember them? Maybe, if you keep talking about them. But at least in the Krs you were in the objectives. You go into the system. It's like growing faster. So we can, we can, you know, we can protect more people. That matters. I think of the objective as the heart and soul and the key results as the wallet. And if you a lot of times leaders will just put the wallet number out there and yeah, okay, it's the DEMINIMU says, it goes down the ORG type right. But if you put some why up front, you put some fun and energy into it. And then I think of localizing that nouns, verbs and numbers of each team and let the team offer those the lover copy. Local Zation is important for sure, because what I'm saying doesn't necessarily mean anything to an engineer. But if they can reframe it and localize it, as you said, for how they're going to impact the mission in their own words, for their own teams, for their own purpose, it really it's theirs now. They own it, it's not mine. I said three that they should align to. They own it. All right with that? Thank you very much for sharing your perspective and your story, which is was so fun to hear, and can't believe you got to thirty million dollars from your dorm room. It's really look feel free to email me it's just Marsena quitchanskcom. I'm sure you'll figure it out. You're Sanna. All right, awesome, right, thank you very much appreciate it makes fun. You've been listening to the Okaur podcast? Subscribe in your favorite player so you never miss a moment.

Thanks for listening. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (33)