On How to Create High Five Situations


Blake Thomas headshot
Blake Thomas

Director of Engineering at NoRedInk

Episode notes

Do you go to work as your whole self? What motivates you to go to work each day? People are mostly motivated by money but you also don’t want a painful working environment, right? An organization’s goals and objectives should be set in a way that favors team members so they continue liking their work and hence be more productive.

Blake Thomas is the director of engineering at NoRedInk and has over two decades of experience in working with engineers. He talks about OKRs in detail and the importance of making them meaningful in an organization- quality over quantity.

Listen in to learn why OKRs fail when they do not focus on team engagement and fail to generate motivation. You will also learn how you can measure the viability of OKRs by observing people’s reactions towards the results.

“Whatever process we have to arrive to an objective, we need to ensure that people see objective as the meaningful.” — Blake Thomas (35:54)

Show notes

  • (0:57) Intro
  • (1:52) Blake talks about his current state with the Coronavirus
  • (4:15) How NoRedInk has worked to offer premium services to teachers and students to support them during the Coronavirus period
  • (6:28) Why they use OKRs for longer-term projects and not short-term projects to measure very specific outcomes
  • (9:43) Why OKRs fail due to lack of generating focus around teamwork and engagement and instead of seeing it as reporting metric
  • (16:25) The additional aspects that contribute to the success of OKRs and why only one OKR is a better place to start rather than too many
  • (22:28) The importance of everyone in an organization aligning with the value of the set objectives to incentivize engagement and social connection
  • (28:21) The reasons why it is hard to update OKRs due to how artificial they’re created to be rather than be meaningful to people
  • (43:32) Make sure that your objectives are audacious and ambitious but not too much that you fail to achieve any

About our guest:

Blake Thomas headshot
Blake Thomas

Director of Engineering

Blake Thomas, head of engineering at NoRedInk, is an experienced leader in software engineering with more than a decade dedicated to delivering exceptional solutions while remaining an actively engaged member of the open source and broader technology community.

Additional resources