The OKR Podcast
The OKR Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

OKRs at Google

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Margo Georgiadis, former president of the Americas at Google for 8 years, leads a master class for executives on why the choice of measures is really a strategic decision, and how clarity and alignment on the right measures are growth fundamentals. Her examples from leading Google's ad business and YouTube are priceless and her experience bringing OKRs to Ancestry.com as CEO and to 40-person startups is equally insightful.

You're listening to the OKA our podcast. We talked about the power of lateral alignment and outcome mindset and empowering teams to do their best work from anywhere. We also talk about operating as a digital company, which is crucial. Now her journeys, learnings and victories from our guest speakers and get expertise from our host to scale your leadership capacity and operate with high impact, trust and efficiency. Here's your host daydrea pack nod. I'm delighted to introduce our next set of speakers. Margo Georgiadas is the CEO of flagship pioneering. She was previously president and Ceeo of ANCESTRYCOM, where she led the democratization of access to everyone's family story and build new platforms in personalized health. She was also president of the Americas at Google, the CEO of Mattel and the COO of Group on, as well as the EVP of US card services and CMO at discover. They're free, very impressive and I'm honor to be introducing you today. With Margo is dadre POK nod, the CEO and Co founder of Wark Board, and they're going to have an incredible dialog on how Google and growth companies use okay ours to raise their growth velocity. Welcome Margo, and welcome back daydrea. Thank you, Samira. Margo, do we have you all right? You're great to be here. Thank you very much. I want to say if this is not the most significant of your accomplishments, but I should share that you are also on workboards, board of directors, which is, of course, our pleasure to learn from you all the time, not just at sessions like these. Well, it's great to work with you and the whole team. It's been amazing to see the journey that you guys have been on in the amazing solutions that are now available to everybody. Awesome. So let's dial back to when you first used okrs, which was at Google, of course, and maybe set the stage for us. What was what were you doing and leading at Google and and how did you get acquainted with the technique? Yeah, it's you know that, having been a mackenzie partner for a really long time, you would have thought you know Ok ours were in my blood, but I don't think I really understood how to use them as an operator until I was a google and that's really where I caught the fire and it's kind of never turned back. So when I first started the company I was leading global operations and then I was president of the America's which is essentially all the commercial operations of North and South America. And you know, it was such an amazing gift when I was running global operations. Of course you know this huge, sprawling company across all these geographies and it's so complicated to drive alignment across that complexity. And at the time the company was only seventeen billion. I know it's kind of hard to imagine now the scale of it. We've never actually had a business plan. The only way we actually ran ourselves was by doing these rigorous goal setting process because everything was changing so fast. If you didn't have this constant quarterly review you would actually kind of lose control of things. So it was it was very contrant anything had ever done before. And there were two big issues, right, as you can imagine in any role like that, and ensuring priorities and resources are aligned across the efforts. But, as you as in many tech companies, that alignment between engineering to product to commercialization and making sure that everybody really understands right the piecing and and how things are happening. We also spend a lot of time thinking about aligning dedicated teams to new efforts we see. We use that framework. I think a lot of people have heard seventy two thousand and ten to seventy percent on the things that are really driving results in the next year, twenty percent on those things that are really driving results over the next two years and ten percent of those things that are really going to become significant three years from now. And how do you actually really understand, not just say I'm going to work on something, but how are you optimizing resources to the opportunity? And then last was balancing a lot of complexity across markets. For All of you who work in global organizations, you have markets of totally different sizes, product stages and needs and you know, I actually still remember, you know, a bunch of my country managers or really complaining. If we did this analysis and we're on a matrix across functions, products and countries, we found at the average country manager had literally fifty different trackers they were entering data into, and so it was such a good exercise because, you know, you cascaded all this stuff and then you forget the global company when the functions are coming at people. And then, you know, sometimes they had more track its develop than they actually people and really forced us to back up and say, wait a second, like what are we really asking people to do and what's really relevant, you know, at different levels across different areas, and so I just think this okay, our process and actually having to clear that out with surface like all these ways in which you could create incredible inefficiency.

You know, when I was leaving the America's a whole different set of problems. Right, we were over fifty percent of the revenue of the company and we were growing twenty percent or more a year. So just imagine at that scale, you know, going from twenty five to over fifty billion dollars. We had to find over ten billion dollars a year into revenue, and so that was really complex. Like how do you keep people constantly understanding what great is? Because things that were great idea when we were smaller, a hundred million dollar idea. Then it became five hundred million ideas and I was like, don't Shu up on my office without a billion dollar idea, because you had to keep backing up and figuring out like what's this really scalable and relooking at everything you were doing and how you were doing it. I think the other big pieces when you are at the forefront of launching new products and you're also trying to drive this kind of scale. What a great launch look like three years ago is not a great launch three years later because you have to actually think about for it to become material. You really, really, really have to set different kinds of goals to ensure people can do that. So it's been incredibly helpful in all these different stages and ways. Quite interesting, weak and obviously the idea you've add ten billion dollars in new revenues no small trick. That's also amazing. Acceleration of particular, acceleration at scale in particular on accelerating a raising the velocity of the organization. How did Boll cares play into that? Yeah, it's so interesting. I mean I think until you live it it's hard to imagine how this becomes like all about creating velocity. I think a lot of people think about you said goals and objectives. You do that in the plan and then you kind of check back. It's sort of like your measuring stick but when you're actually using them right, it becomes a galvanizing moment at a couple of levels. And a strategic level it's about debating as a leadership team, like the tough choices, about the metrics that will anchor velocity in your business to the next level. So we would literally spend like a day or two sometimes picking that northstar metric. I think one of my favorite stories, because I think it's so easy to like all of us grass because we all use youtube, but I remember like at least maybe a one or a two days session where we debated. was in the early stages of Youtube and building it out. Our vision was to become right the future of television and this was the whole new way to unlock the macritization and do all this. But we had to make conscious choices at each wave of development what was most important, and then everything cascaded from there. So we had this huge debate about was the most important priority. Minutes percession or total minutes watch, just total number of people in the platform. And for any of you that are engineers or marketers, you can think that has totally different opplications to the organization. If you're focusing in minutes procession, you're really trying to understand needs and like what's that next video that person is going to watch? And if all kinds of different priorities, then if you're actually trying to get as many as people as possible to watch as many things as possible, like that is a completely different mindset, and so those kinds of debate became galvanizing in the company and making sure everyone was aligned. I think at the operational level, okay, ours drive velocity because you have your weekly and quarterly reviews all focused on those metrics that deliver velocity against ambition and what everybody's piece is in that and it forces you to say, what are those drivers that lead up to that north sort of metrics that you take that Youtube example right, you can imagine how everybody then is laddered in that product coorganization, in that marketing organization, to accomplish that velocity. And what's awesome as that you can celebrate what's going great, you're also identifying areas that might be slowing you down or out of sync very quickly, and so every meeting is not about keeping score. It's about saying how fast are we leading into the future and if we have any issues, are we fixing them fast? And, you know, if there's something that we forgot that's slowing us down, we can actually, you know, learn on the fly and adjust, and I think that just really changes the mindset of the organization. The contrast you draw between using it as a measuring stick, which has a little punitive overtone. I think it's got a Gotcha construct to it is so different than the construct of weight. How were raising velocity right and how we removing drag? It's it's quite interesting. In a lot of large organizations they're such a deeply imbedded habit of the Gotcha and the inspection and it's almost like they've forgotten that we but we're really here for us. How fast can we go right? How quickly can we create more value? Are you welcome at it, everybody. It's stuck in the old mindset, you know. I it's so interesting, you know, because having when you're at Google, like you just become part of...

...this is just the briefing, and then when I decided to set out and become a CEO and other places, it was, you know, you walk into meetings and you see the difference and energy right it's you know, I think if you're in one of those companies that hasn't been the bullet on this yet, I mean your life probably feels I don't know, this would be my exactly what I felt like in every organization I've come into that didn't have this. Like meetings feel like functional readouts. You walk in a meeting and everybody just sort of says their stuff, but there's not really common engagement. I mean you have a lot of heated debates, specially in operating minute meetings when something isn't going right. There's all this debate about the numbers of the trends, do we have the right data? You know, different people in the Organization of competing fact bases and that it's like you don't have one version of the truth. Then there's lots of meetings before the meeting. Like that to me is like the base symptom if you have to be two meetings, you know, and a lot of people blame that on the senior people. Yeah, sometimes that's true, but a lot of us, because it's people to make the hard choices, so everybody knows right they're all your in meetings and instead of making decisions right there there's always a call. Every meeting has a call for another follow review or a committee to debate the issues right, or you have this feeling that all the decisions get kicked upstairs. Right, even low level stuff has to go all the way to Ceeo to it, you know. And then, I think you see it in like employee surveys. If you have signals like low empowerment scores OR TRUST IN LEADERSHIP team or clarity on the strategy, like hugely a symptom like that, you're not, you know, able to set these goals and cascade them properly so that everybody actually knows how to lean into the future. And in my experience, you know, this is not just something that works in tech, right. I used it to turn on motel. I used it at ancestry to reset the company. I'm using it now and running a new company, but it takes like two to three months to get that rhythm going. But once you have it, like that feeling of togetherness the productivity meetings, it's like game changing. You know you're confident when you see opportunity to pour gas on those hockey sticks because everybody knows what you're focused on. When things are going quite right. You're proactive about reallocating resources and people don't actually feel negative about that. They realize it's it's their obligation to raise their hand and say I need help, or raise their oblivety in hand and say, Hey, I we should relocate to this until I figure it's problem out. And I think my best piece is like you. So write more, because when you understand all the pieces on the way to the journey, you find more reasons to say, oh my gosh, like this is like better than last quarter, last month, last you know. And so I think it gets everybody to feel that sense of velocity and and I don't know, I think it's really game changing. Yea, the momentum is completely different. You actually can feel momentum itself. Well, you're creating it and everyone feels part of it, like from the bottom up. That don' it's not just about senior people that are pulling everybody up right or pushing them. Yeah, so a Google native language right me, everyone surface speaks from the time they're born. But it ancestry. Right when you you took the practice there, it wasn't it wasn't a habit. They had took a little bit about this, just sort of the learning journey, that adapting to a different way of I'll say, coalescing on on the strategy itself. How was that? Yeah, you know, it's so interesting. I think about that experience, though, actually take it from the beginning with a bit of a context thing, because I think everybody always thinks when things are messy or kind of busy, like I shouldn't do that later. But I found the total opposite. Like ancestry is an amazing company and brand, but even the most successful companies have blind spots. So like the two to three years right before I started, you know, it was that DNA Craz right. You guys saw those ads. They were everywhere. The business was gang busters on selling DNA kits. But actually the core business is subscriptions, is people coming in right and taking a subscription and going on a journey. But that huge bananza and kids cells was like free acquisition into that engine, as well as discovery engine of itself. But then all of a sudden the music stop, of course, you know, just for me. You know, golden state killer happened one week before I became the CEO and kids seals dropped in half. So, as you can imagine, like that's your entire acquisition engine. All of a sudden it's gone in half. And so all of a sudden we had to move fast and you know, there was a bit of confusion right a few layers down because, in addition to the fact that there was this kids craze, we had hire a lot of people to deal with that. So there were a lot of new leaders, like at the senior level and then one down, and so the biggest thing when we had to pivot was people would always relied on these person relationships to just like run down the hall and fixed stuff, and all of a sudden those relationships weren't there because there for so many new people and so many people. So you know, and after two weeks on the job I realized like...

...thirty percent of people's time was wasted because there was not alignment, unlike what we were doing how we were doing it, and so we did a total reboots, you know, with okay ores at the core. We started first and said, okay, that's what happened. Right, things change a business. That was like a great binanza. Now we'll create a new bananza. But like what is that new bananza? You know, and what are those metrics that matter? What's the one version of the truth? Because you can imagine that point everyone is setting the panic button. And there was our biggest risk was that there were five versions of every data set and I was like, okay, team, we're spending so much time to trying to agree on what's a data we're going to agree on the metrics that matter. Who owns those metrics? Are Meeting cadences are going to be all aligned around the decisions that we own to change our own future, and also we're going to change how we show up in meetings. We all own that set of numbers and come to the meeting with solution not to have another meeting. And that whole concept right really, you know, is a game changer and you know it took us three to six months to get into it and we had to adjust it a few times, you know, as we learned. But then, like the whole organization was like a different place. Right, we knew what our northstar metric was. It was nut subscriber growth and active discovery rate. You know, the year before it was how many kids sales could you do? And that was a huge pivot. But then everybody lined that their efforts up against it and it created so much energy and in abled us to really, you know, transition really successfully out of what otherwise could have been, you know, a little bit scary and love the story. One of the things I hear a lot is, well, we can't start, okay, are yet, because we don't have clean data and the the presumption is right. We just had all the data right, then it would be really simple. But you point out, we let's start with what measures even matter. You start there and it's it's a little bit interesting, right, that you could defer thinking about what we should even measure, but you would be in pursuit of all the measures in the universe, of all the things in the universe, right, which certainly do not all matter in the same way. Yeah, it's so interesting. It's like when you're growing gang busters. It's really important because you have to keep really thinking about this escalation challenge. Right when you're in a turnaround, you need even more focus and alignment because everyone's nervous, so they need to see progress being made and so really helping to get everyone's zeroed in on like the story of the future and and have giving them the confidence and showing them like progress is being made in small and big ways. And then when you're a small company, right, you don't have a lot of resources. So if you don't have everybody aligned, you're just burning time and money, right, which is exactly what you don't want to do, especially in today's investor market. And so you know, it's I think people always find reasons not to do it, but when you really think logically about what you need to be great at and all those different modalities, right kind of after it's just a really helpful tool. Yeah, yeah, it actually can help me figure out what data should be in pursuit of. I think right now, that and I opened yesterday are the ACCELERAT session yesterday talking a little bit about you know, obviously when you're in a startup, as as we both are right now, there is you think about scarcity of both time and and people, right, but actually in this world right now there's scarcity of everything right. Natural resources are scarce. We all struggle, large and small companies, struggle to retain the talented people and to hire New People. Capitals getting more expensive, right. Supply chain issue makes even the things you expect to get take shipment of and be able to deliver. That's scarce, right, really operating, no matter what your size, right now and kind of the era of the scarcity of everything, optimizing it all actually really matters right now. Yeah, we all thought COVID was coming to an end another they could go back to normal, and now we have because there were issues inflation, local markets, investor Jit ters, right. I mean so I think you know that's kind of the way the world is, right. I think we've all seen over the last or five years that it's always something. And so, as a leader, you know, really thinking about nailing what matters most in the organization is so essential, whether it's managing the two times I've uncertainty, turning your business around, managing acceleration. Right, it's these times of complexity we have to create Trans Parncy and trust to move our organization forward and to help people be at their best and collaborate. And so I think there never was, you know, in need as we're saying. You know, you're exactly right. As a small company you have to be able to have that open debate. People have to have a way of saying there's too much of my plate, I can't get this done. Like how am I going to prioritize this? Or if this is a thing we need most, then I'm going to do this. And these are the two things that I may not be able to get done. And so, you know, I really think that, you know, the one aspect we haven't...

...talked as much about is the really large enterprise, you know, because that's the big complexity. Energy dissipates with space, you know, and make companies and you know there's the rumor chains, you know, come down. And so I actually think in big and large complex organizations, the bigger they get, the more important it is to be really, really clear on those goals, because people need to see themselves and the whole how it ladders up, and not because it's like this purpose thing, but because they need to be empowered to see forward, to raise the issues against the most important metrics that matter and to help reset and and move, because they realize right if they get slow they're going to drag all this other stuff down. And I think the biggest risk in large companies is that silos are a killer to speed, agility and cross functional alignment, especially horizontally, like two to three layers down. That is the game change or when those people at that director, manager and director level are actually pushing up there, walking into the meetings. All these issues don't get kicked up to the upstairs. They're walking into the executive meeting saying, Hey, we identify this issue, we talked about it and here's the two options we propose. Right. If your organization feels like that, then you're on the right track. If it's the senior guys are looking at the numbers, noticing that things don't work and then they're sending right initiatives down, you are actually not in alignments and not getting the full brain power and will power of the talented people you work so hard to hire and bring into the team right there. They're not active participants in that creating a future as you as you describe it. The debate is he's actually hard but really worthy. I meet a lot of people who say, well, we couldn't possibly out allocate three or four hours to talk about okay, are and it's you and I both think that's kind of crazy. So, okay, so you'll use the whole quarter for confusion, but you definitely don't want to spend the time to get aligned. But it's an interesting it's an interesting dynamic right, like I don't want to set aside time to have that conversation. Even when people do set aside the time. It's interesting how often there's not a habit of having fruitful debate. There's a sort of a head not harmony thing that goes on and you don't really make a set of strategic choice. Like how would you just as a leader, in particulars you're trying to change or bring the culture of the Organization for its it can lean into the future? How he kind of unlocked the capacity for weighing options, debating them and then making fruitful decisions. Yeah, you know, it's interesting and I for all any of you who work in a big company with a long planning cycle, you know I truly truly believe that most of that is not a good use of time. You know, I remember joining Google and it seemed so odd like we had a full one to two day annual off site to get the goals right at the top for anybody did anything else. And I mean there were like massive debates around what was important, what the parodies would be, and it was so useful because when you debate in a line at the top on the company on what's most important to deliver the strategy and the plan. You see how hard it is for you to get it on one page. Just imagine what happens. So you're gonna meet you and you know, especially attach when you moving to so fast, you just don't have a choice, right, because you just can't do it all. But I think I use this in all the companies, like leadership team off site, where you actually that is the way you think about the annual and then in that meeting, not only do you debate the the goals for the company as a whole, right, and you have, like it can't be more than like five that's to fit out on one page and be able to explainable and play in English, right, but then each leader, against those critical goals, showing up at that meeting and bringing what are the top things that they are going to contribute against those goals and what are the two or three most important things they need from other people in the room to get their work done. And that really proactively surfaces tradeoffs at the most executive levels and you have the important debates that when you don't put in two levels down, people are like really, like you said, these goals. That's just no way that computes. And then when you finally cascade, you've cleared out the big stuff, but there's still stuff you miss. So when you cascade you have the same process coming down at these other levels. Are People saying, okay, this is what I'm going to do and then cross checking with their partners across to make sure they didn't miss anything. And when that happens, then a couple things will get surface back up that people just say, Hey, you know, we can't do all that, but that's your planning. Like the planning cycle is will way faster. It's like one month, right, see your team gets...

...aligned right, really debates the tough stuff. There's a couple weeks or everybody else then and then people can then focus on their plan. Is An alignment against those goals and everything that everybody's signed up to. And and that just changes like that entire annual planning cycle. And I think you know again, to me that is where the velocity comes from. It's blossing and planning and then when you're checking against that every porter to say am I delivering a my gaining momentum right, it just change. Is the whole nature of how people think about strategy, planning, operational execution. Yeah, clarity actually created the velocity it does. Let's talk about you start the year with the planet's well formed. Stuff changes. We live in interesting times. How tell us talk a little bit about have you, as a leadership team, how do you help the organization reframe what matters and adjust? Maybe that's a big pivot or maybe it's just the microadjustments that keep it on the on the right art given new circumstances, either internally or externally, or, as it stands now, both it's early and externally. So you know, I think we talked about this before. I mean in in adopting this. I do think the biggest headset shift for most people on this is why it usually takes three to six months, is that people really have the hardest time shifting from making a list of activities, kind of I call it the stuff, you know, like versus like. No, no, what are the outcomes that will drive the business results and that will actually create velocity and that discipline, I believe, is the hardest transition in moving to okay ours, because most people are used to listing their activities and then allocating time to them and I think the the pivot that you're talking about really happens when you have that clear northstar metric that aligns to your long term strategy. So they're saying, take the ancestry example, net sub growth, not subscriber growth. And then net was very important because it's about like what's left over right, an active discovery rate is the thing that delivers the most value to subscribers. They want to keep learning new things about their family history and how actively are they doing it? When that was aligned, then all the innovation. I said, I don't know if any of you feel like you sometimes have an organization where a lot of people have all these ideas and they always say, well, nobody wants to listen to me, they don't want to let me be innovative. But the thing is, when everybody knows that, then the innovation that they're pursuing is against that goal and so they're trying to move what matters. And so it's much easier to filter relative importance when those things are really clear, and I think that enables a lot more agility and I think it's that North Star lining down and then in enabling innovation to happen against those priorities is really what I think enables that the lasting momentum that you're talking about. So you use obviously okay as a google, like high scale and then higher scale than an ancestry, which it was probably twenty five hundred people, are so or less and now your CEO of a startup, you know cares, makes sense in in a small company, you know. I mean it's be honest. I had always invite you know, I am big investor and I always advised people to do it, but then, you know, it's when it's yourself you you know, you you have to kind of put your money where your mouth is. So I you know, I did start into this new job a few weeks ago and we have forty people and we're growing like gangbusters. And at first I thought, well, you know, I'm not going to bring you know, this bureaucracy, you know, just smaller companies. But then after like two weeks of meetings, they know I must have been I have a bias, but I quickly found that there were. What happens is everyone's so busy that what we came clear to me is everybody thought they were making progress in their peace and they were supermission driven, but when I talked to the troops, like they weren't really always clear how it all added up, and so I was like, wow, the same issue is right here, and so I like sat down, I'm like ten days in, and I was like here's the five most important questions were trying to answer, you know, here's what we're trying to get done and like how do we make it work? And all of a sudden the team was like, oh, that's so great, you know, and it wasn't that different from what they were doing. But what happened was it forced the debates right about the edge case stuff, because we said, if this is the most important thing we're trying to do now, it enables everybody down the chain to say, Oh what, hang on, if this is the thing I'm really trying to do, I should do more of this and I think I'm going to let that piece go. So it's started enabling people, when you have scarce resources, to say I don't need to do that now, I can actually do that later, and...

...it's enabling us, like to have everybody kind of feel important, and we're doing building a big horizontal platform as well as vertical applications and it's really enabling us to like zero in on like where and how we're trying to creep value. So it's just actually been kind of fun to see it actually in person really work. Yeah, it's small and with the small team it's can be super liberating. I think for small team, particularly in the startup, where you have way more ambition than you have capacity and if you got mission driven people right, the idea that you can't do it all can be a little painful, and so just the Catharsis of having the conversation, agreeing on at matters in the short run and having the ability then to set things aside and move them out to later, it's like an exhale. Right, you can keep from being overwhelmed in the mission itself, right, and I think it's even more subtle than that. Like what I really learned is people are so mission vision and they have these bold ambitions for the future, but they all kind of look a little bit different when you actually boil them down, and so that's what really drove me to sort of say, oh it, let's really zero in on the North Star and then the velocity metrics, because what you want to help people see is we're going to get to the golden you know, the Golden Goose. But we got to break this thing down and pieces and think about where we're going to get acceleration at each step, and that helps people actually come together versus feel like you're saying what they wanted to do wasn't important. They can see the progression and that's where I do believe in smaller companies it actually gets people excited because they're on the boat. They see why sometimes I have to do the earlier stuff in able to get to the longer stuff, and so that's where I've seen it like be very helpful. Yes, okay, let me ask you a last question before we open up to the audience for their questions. What advice would you give to leaders, CEOS and business leaders who don't have a clear, intentional framework for aligning and iterating on on the strategic priorities? But what would you what would you tell them about why this and why now? Well, the conversation we had earlier to me is the most important one, but then I'll have I'll steal from Jeff Richards after that that we had a few weeks ago. But the first pieces your human capital in today's world is the most important asset you have and your job as a CEO or as an operating leader is to unlock that best of that capital to achieve your objectives. And you know, without this type of alignment it's really hard to create that velocity of Participanti of conversation to the future and, especially in a time of all utility, that ability to for people to say these are assumptions, these are the objectives. You know, how do I actually frame these things in the story of the future? I think has never been more important. But I love with Jeff for Insurance, so that a few weeks ago and we were to all chatting, which is, you know, imagine sales without a cerum or finance without a general ledger, you know, or ravops. Right, those functions are all data driven. So why is it that we would even consider running the most important thing we do is leaders, which is our strategy, on a piece of paper with no data in alignment? Right? It so to me like it's just that just really stuck with me as just one of those like yeah, like this just makes sense. Awesome, Yep, we all need a strategy executions deck. That's my mission in particular. Yah It is, I mean, makes perfect sense to me and I think ultimately starts to be more and more obvious as we have to shift faster and faster and our and our teams now are farther and farther from or to you right the reach of the strategy is changed completely. Hope. Okay, I'm in about out dug. Let me bring you back into the mix here and I will step out and you can pepper margot with the custions from the prodispons Margo, and daydream. Thank you for that master class on the value and an importance of strategy and alignment, leadership and execution. So many great quotes and questions are coming up as well, Margo. So again, thank you for that. Let me share a couple of things that were seeing from the audience. So one question. Often times we you know, then you leaders feel like they might already have the right outcomes in metrics in place. I spoke about this before. They're using the CRN, but as someone who's led large field organizations, how would you coach a crow or an spp of sales on what they would get from Okrs in a digital rhythm? Yeah, great question. So I do. I do agree that we're evenent. Leaders do tend to do this like breathing, because otherwise right it does not going to get to those goals. I...

...do still believe that that kind of working backwards concept. So if you're in a high growth business and three years from now, right, you got to be three acts that scale or whatever, it is the right target for you, you know what does that look like? And if you work back, are you actually setting outcomes of metrics that are achieving the plan you have today, or are you actually setting yourself up for that future? Because if you try to keep figuring that out, so Google we're in the extreme case right recorder, we had to shift because the bar just kept going up as we scaled so quickly. But I don't think that's true for any other company. If you wait to let handle plan to figure that out, you're probably going to get it wrong. So I think most revenue leaders think about that cascade to get to this year's plan. I don't think they do enough to think about the future and what are those elements that, if I have to keep scaling, this need to be different, that are a little bit different metrics than you would just do to accomplish the revenue and the revenue roll up itself. So what's the story of the future and how do you actually see if you're getting there? And then second is, as you think of cross your different product areas. You know big choice or revenue leaders often make in a multiproduct environment is right, do I just go the top line level and then I let people underneath that get there? However they get there, you know, do the how do you think about revenue quality and how is that quality creating momentum to the future? And so I think that's a really important interrogation as you think about again, your classic systems like don't necessarily push you to care about that. Right. So the CELIN could track how we're doing on the plan. But this notion of revenue quality, that's a decision in a conversation we're going to have not just about today but what it means in the future for us. Righte. Revenue quality like fundamental skills momentum. If deal size last year, that would help you get to where you needed to was five million, but right in a year and a half to hit your scale targets it's got to be fifty. Well, that's a totally different conversation right, and so you don't just pivot from that overnight. So you have to think about, well, what is the fundamental capabilities and skills I need, or what needs to be different? Or do I need to get never do five million dollar deals anymore. I need to do fifty. And how would I actually construct that? And so I think that's a big gap. You know that. That's why companies often miss their targets is they were stuck in last years comes in mindsets, but they weren't building enough into the future that was required. And you always need to test that right two to three quarters in advance so that it can then become a scaled new way of doing business. So a related question to that is we can see the value of building a learning organization because if we've got data and we can learn from it, we can iterate faster and faster. But that doesn't mean leaders always are open to building learning organizations. How do you advise and guide there? Well, I'm not exactly sure how you using the concept of learning organizations, but I do believe that the data that you look is in the rearview mirror. So the most important thing that a revenue leader in a commercial organization does at the top is you have to be leaning into the future. That data is just keeping score. Okay, our should be the things that are actually helping you to accelerate your long term goals, and I think not getting confused that those are the same thing is what this is really the purpose that I'm getting at, and that's constantly scrolling forward and checking backs, going forward and checking back and understanding one of those drag factors. You know, and I think maybe that's why you know companies like Google. It's not logical that we kept growing twenty percent a year in the company still doing it because they use the same methodology. But it's done an accident and you keep growing twenty on twenty and twenty. Everyone looks at it from the outside and says, Oh, they just have this lucky business model. That is not true. Like we were reorganized every three to five months. We were reimagining our way in which we're going to market and retesting a new approaches right every you know, every quarter, and that was not about looking in those kind of rear view metrics of the sales outcomes. It was looking at those drivers of velocity, terms of our capabilities, in terms of the way we have partnered with people, the kind of deal sizes that were coming in, the way we thought about pipelines, right. So all these things, multiproduct selling, right, platform selling and how that was correlated. Right. So you had to constantly look at that stuff, and I'm not saying everyone doesn't do that as a traditional revenue leader, but I don't think you're a velocity revenue leader if you don't understand those non financial metrics with their other than maybe common concerns. As you've led organizations of different sizes, that may also show up that you had to help them pivotally from so that they could be forward looking, they could use data to help better drive decisions. Yeah, I mean I do think at every...

...size and scale of an organization you have to be relentlessly focus as a leader about, and this is like I feel like I'm kind of giving motherhood commentary, but like the most important choice is what you actually choose people to focus on, and nothing's going to be perfect and what is primary and what is secondary, and I think that is a skill right at different size sizes, you know, and I think that's why sometimes executives from really big organizations that look at lots of stuff don't scale well down because they make things too complex. When you're in the earlier stages you have to really think about much simpler approaches. And again those couple of things that say we're getting velocity, but you can't have a whole bunch of stuff. When you get bigger, you have more mattricks, but I think you have to think about how you use those strategically versus operationally. To me, you look at them strategically to really understand again, REV new quality, consistency, right gaps and things like that become very important as you get bigger. Where do you have, you know, learning curve problems or, you know, adoption problems and certain kinds of new ways of doing things? You you end up in very think about things differently at that scale because you have the ability to compare and contrast and do all that. But even then you have to choose, like what is the most important thing? Focus? What vertical? What products? What competence? And know and again which of those are going to be the give you the biggest acceleration, because the bigger you are, the harder it is to get it done consistently across a large group of people, and so it's not like the choices become any easier, they're just different. I hear leaders talk about those decisions become exixtential because the decision for one thing is a decision for all the other things. We're not going to do correct you're standing up making those choices, those bets, to drive the organization. I get better at everything all at once, and that is the biggest mistake. Is, like you again, you use all the data as an insight and understanding trends and correlations, but then you still have to just put the stake out there and say this is the most important thing and then try to manage right the downsides of that. So you brought a lot of innovation to ancestry, all for the purpose of helping people align their family trees right. And now, when we talk about bringing the long term strategy to the objectives, what opportunities do you see there for organizations now to have like Oh, when we can do both of these things and you would data driven way? What what you would excite to you about that? So I just want to make sure I understand the question. Is it the long term in the store term and how they're connected? Yeah, so as part of the innovation we're bringing to market. Maybe this is a little unfair, but it is of that innovation that we're going to bring to market. Now there's places for organizations to do both of those things together, drive it in a consistent way in the platform. And if you had both those opportunities to do that in a data driven way previously, what could that have meant for those organizations? Or what do you see the opportunities for how you're leading now? Yeah, I mean, if I think, you know, I think the story I was sharing around, you know, the focus on actors of dibscovery rates and that sub growth and how those two things were correlated and innovation and small and big ways. How are you gaining material momentum in those metrics and then seeing how that shows up right in the results? And again, that's not those things are totally correlated to revenue, right. So the more discoveries people make, the longer they're like, you know, the more likely there to stick around, the more nut subscribers you have. Obviously that drives revenue. So all these things ladder. But when you're in a tech and an innovation led organization, right, you need to be able to trade off, like what's the most important things to move those metrics short, medium and long term? And you know, that's where frameworks like a seventy, twenty tien become really helpful, because the seventy, and it's a bit of a version of what I was saying on the commercial leaders right, seventy percent of your effort should be spent on the things that are going to deliver results in the next twelve months. Like you have high confidence if I action these things, it's going to get there. You need twenty percent that's going to create that next wave of momentum. But that's stuff you're pretty confident about. It's like you know how to do it, you just need to do it in a new area, so you don't need to go reinvent the wheel. And then the ten percent is like those things that could change the shape of the curve. But you those things better be really great ideas. It's going to take you three years to figure it out and you are to be confident, right when you hit that Jackpot, that it would the juice was worth the squeeze. And I think getting that discipline organizations around how to set okrs that span across those those time brands and I said, I don't think that's just for a tech company. I think that's for any company. You know, as a leader, I think you have to plan to grow. You plan to grow based on the goals you set, based on the way you allocate resource. Right, so if you have to...

...say I want to do seventy, two thousand and ten, but there's five in the ten percent, well, what do you think? The outcome is going to be? Zero. You're not going to get any of that stuff right. So people have to like do those checks and we would literally do those checks. And all the companies I've run to say, well, I re actually putting our money where our mouth is, and is the quality of the things in those buckets really what we think they are? Because in the bucket three, that ten percent, if it's not working and you've tried to you don't you don't just keep paring money at it, you regroup and figure out a principle basis why is it's not working. But you have totally different metrics or something in a ten percent versus a twenty percent versus a s a is like I know what I'm doing. I signed up for this there's a number signed against it. But the twenty percent bucket is stuff that where you're looking at momentum to the ability to execute that right over the next eighteen months. And then the third one you're looking for principle based proof points and if you don't hit them, you gotta then shut it down and regroup. And I think that's another big mistake people make when they're setting okay ours. They try to set seventy okay ours on the temper sign and then that just could chokes off innovation completely. Well, in your guidance there there was a question from the audience. Would you mind sharing the general nature of your top five questions when you're driving your businesses? Is there a general way to sum that up without getting to them? Yeah, I think. Let me try. It depends on the situation, but I think if I had to boil it down, I would say I'm relentlessly focused on, like what is that North Star metric? Like, what is the most important thing that we are trying to do for the world? And I might be one or two things, but absolute clarity on what does that really look like? And then what are the principle based drivers that would enable you to accomplish that, like what do I have to be really good at? And within that, like what are the velocity drivers that would would tell you. So I'm all about velocity to the goal and like how do you think about what it is you're doing and what would help you gain acceleration against that, so that you're constantly looked looking for ways to speed up? And then I'm looking at, okay, how is my organization aligned to achieve that? Right, is the way I'm structured actually leading into that future, because sometimes the way things have an organized in the past don't reflect what you're actually trying to accomplish. And so have your problem is that you just don't have people focus on achieving that velocity. Right. So who's owning achieving that velocity? And then the the last piece is really the skills and capabilities, right, is assessing if I if I'm trying to be great at that and accomplish that momentum, where my blind spots? Like where, where do we? Where do we actually need to learn from somebody else, or where do we need to borrow insights to accelerate or new skills or new perspectives? Because it's not the way we've already done it and so unless we inject, you know, some really smart thinking into that, we're not going to actually change our mind because people who've only done one pattern like who's going to be that distructor he's going to be the challenger that's going to spark the imagination and ask that contrarian question, and I think that's probably the way I think about it. Wow, thank you for sharing that. Like people are like blowing up the chat on that. So that was really helpful and valuable. And then I think we have time for one more question. Look there at people throughout the organization that aren't performing, they're struggling. How do you organize and help those parts of the organization to sort of elevate them up to get to that speed and velocity that you're after? Yeah, so I you know, this goes back to something daydre said earlier. You know, are we using our metrics to keep score on people? Are we using it to figure out where we have challenge and the organization and where we need to support people? So I'm a leader that I'm a servant leader mindset and I believe that everybody has the ability to be an a. But what is happening around them in terms of the goals, the resources, the alignment right that's slowing them down, because if you're a great leader, you're trying to lead heads up versus heads down. And so how my pulling these people into the future? So I think where you have organizations that are slowing down, you've got to do that detective work to figure out what is it that's in their way. I think I'll never forget in when I was at ancestry, I had this amazing payments team and these guys were so smart and they had all these great insights about what we need to do to make it better for the consumers. And you know, we sent up for a bunch of okrs and they were so ambitious that they ran like hell. But then all...

...these things started breaking and and I was like wait, these people, these guys, are so this team is so good, like there's no way like that they could have liked this could have gone that wrong, unless there's something wrong here. So I remember I had like said, but let's stop the madness. Then like we went into a conference room and I was like we're gonna take out a whiteboard and I don't care about any of these things that just happened. All I want to do is talk about you guys, are way so a part than this. What happened? And then it all came flooding out, you know, all the issues that were there and like these constraints that they had and they just didn't feel comfortable surfacing them, and I was like, oh my gosh, like we should have just slow down development and fixed all these things and said, okay, we're just going to fix it now, it doesn't matter. We'd made this mistake, fut's fail forward fast and we put in a in place a bunch of changes and then all of a sudden, like six months later, they were like running like crazy, and I just think sometimes, as laters, we don't take the time to really, really, really listen to what's longing people down and then figure out how we are going to put them on the path to velocity going forward. And there's just nothing more empowering for a team. And then I was like, and also promised me that if you've ever have concerns like this again, you're going to like jump up and down and raise your hand until somebody listens to you, because you have an obligation to dissent right, but I think a lot of times leaders don't let people tell them the truth. Right. Well, thank you for opening that space for people in your organization at all levels, because that's when I keep hearing about diversity, including like people want to know that they're contributing. They want to be able to have a voice in that. You're you're opening the space for that and I think a lot of organizations are trying to make that same intention. So thank you for offering that and being that in your organizations. It's really it's energetic, it's inspiring to why people want to come work with you. Thank you. It's great to be here and such an important topic. It's it's not about the software. It's about, you know, our okay, ours and not themselves. It's about a different way of thinking about leadership. It's about leadership that's really aligned and focus on setting priorities, about empowering the organization from the bottom up to be part of the conversation and to take ownership and do what they all want to do to get to the future. And it's like we're out in a bike right. You've you kind of feel a little lobbly at first, but like once you start like getting used to this, you just can't go back right because, Hauz, it's so much more fun to be at work when you kind of see all the pieces of sinning together. For sure. Margo, again, thank you for this conversation and, as I said before, this masterclass. We are the wisdom that you shared, the quotes, the the work that you took to get here. Thank you for sharing that and importing of everyone. We really appreciate it. Thank you. Truly a master class. Thank you, Margot. You've been listening to the OKA our podcast. Subscribe in your favorite player so you never miss a moment. Thanks for listening. Until next time,.

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