On How to Make OKRs Work for SMBs


Russell Cummings headshot
Russell Cummings

Managing Director at Shifft Consulting

Episode notes

Do you have clear systems of measurement in your small business? To drive strategy in your small business and have OKRs work for you, start by measuring what’s important and have a plan. 

In this episode, Jenny speaks with Russell Cummings, an experienced Management Consultant and Business Coach with Shifft Consulting. Russ has spent the last 35 years working with dynamic family businesses that want to grow. He is Australian-based but currently services clients across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Listen in to learn how to use OKRs in small businesses to create some systems of measurement that show business progress and drive your strategy. You will also learn why you shouldn’t overlook doing a SWOT analysis to gauge the challenges you’ll encounter in your entrepreneurial journey. 

“The best out of a team comes from having some leadership and structures in place.” — Russell [44:35]

Show notes

  • [2:37] Russell describes his career journey in management consulting and business coaching over the last 35 years. 
  • [5:44] The common pieces that exist in non-profit and for-profit organizations and government agencies.
  • [7:52] The 2 ways to use OKRs as a small-medium sized business and be successful with them. 
  • [10:38] Some simple and cost-effective data collection methods that serve small businesses. 
  • [17:18] Take time to reflect and ask questions on what’s happening in your business and then have meaningful discussions around it.  
  • [21:18] Why you shouldn’t overlook the challenges you’re likely to encounter on your entrepreneurial journey.
  • [23:54] The different ways you can measure the people aspect of an organization at an individual and team level. 
  • [28:40] The importance of having a plan, processes, and the key business things to efficiently run a business.
  • [32:55] Russell shares some success stories of businesses he’s helped run efficiently, scale up, and grow. 
  • [39:21] How to sell your business and build a relationship with your clients without obsessing over efficiency. 
  • [43:29] Having systems and processes in place to replace middle management when focusing on efficiency.
  • [44:51] Russell answers more quick-fire questions.

Relevant links

About our guest:

Russell Cummings headshot
Russell Cummings

Managing Director

Russel Cummings, the managing director at Shifft Consulting, is a highly skilled business management consultant and coach. Throughout his career, he has worked with a diverse range of clients, including privately owned businesses, agribusinesses, family businesses, and large commercial and government clients across Australia.

Additional resources