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Measure What Shatters – (Before It Breaks)


2018 saw the publication of ‘Measure What Matters’ -how Google, Bono, and The Gates Foundation rock the world with OKRs.’ Which announced itself as ‘A ‘collaborative goal-setting protocol for teams and individuals.’ In the book, the writer, venture capitalist John Doerr (appropriately pronounced ‘doer’) set out the case for OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) just as he had in 1999 when he presented them to a very young Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Doerr bought into Google (12.5%) and Page and Brin bought into OKRs (100%). The first slide Doerr presented to Page and Brin defined OKRs as ‘A management methodology that ensures that a company focuses efforts on the same important issues throughout the company.’


Seven extremely challenging years on from the publication of ‘Measure What Matters,’ and with the world facing the highest level of geopolitical tension since the end of the Cold War, I would like to propose: ‘Measure What Shatters,’ a reframing (not replacing) of OKRs to bring the heightened levels of uncertainty into greater organisational focus as ‘Objectives and Critical Risks.’


For my own particular area of interest, the live entertainment sector, a short overview might include some of the points below, but these specimen questions can readily be translated/transferred to the markets and ‘audiences’ other sectors seek to serve:


What are the most vulnerable audiences by source market, generational cohort and usage?


What would be the most likely result to a show, venue or producer/promoter’s overall profitability of impacts to these audiences? a) when they are major contributors to audience mix, b) when they are less important but still typically account for a significant contribution


What source markets and segments are best calculated to provide growth in order for us to spread the risk better?


What adjacent user segments might become commercially attractive if key audiences are significantly impacted?  How big are they, are we fluent in their priorities and behaviours, and how can we reach them both promptly and cost-effectively?


And the $64000 question:


How are organizations, in The Business of Pleasure and beyond, currently monitoring the risks, quantifying (as best they can) the possible impacts, and putting plans in place to mitigate the risks identified and prioritised?



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