On Tailoring Strategies for Every Industry


Kenneth Lewis headshot
Kenneth Lewis

Co-Founder at OKR International

Episode notes

In this follow-up episode of Dreams With Deadlines, host Jenny Herald sits down once again with Kenneth Lewis, Co-Founder of OKR International. Building on their previous discussion about performance management and OKRs, they delve into new territories, shedding light on the nuanced application of OKRs in diverse industries.

What you will learn

  • Failure as a Stepping Stone: Kenneth shares compelling stories from companies that initially struggled with OKR adoption but eventually found success. He emphasizes the importance of learning from failure and approaching OKRs with a change management mindset.
  • OKRs in Non-Tech Environments: The conversation pivots to the challenges and unique approaches required when implementing OKRs in non-tech industries. Kenneth discusses the need for context-specific strategies, balancing innovation with traditional business models, and the aspiration of non-tech companies to adopt progressive practices.
  • Sustainable Use of OKRs: Addressing the potential for OKRs to become just another management fad, Kenneth argues for a more holistic approach. He advocates for integrating OKRs with organizational rituals, focusing on purpose, and recognizing the importance of conversations and feedback alongside goal setting.

Show notes

  • [00:00:06] The Path of Failure to Success in OKR Adoption. Kenneth Lewis shares real-world stories about companies initially struggling with OKR adoption, reflecting on their failures and learning to eventually succeed in incorporating OKRs into their operational rhythm.
  • [00:04:16] Implementing OKRs in Non-Tech Environments. Jenny and Kenneth shift to the challenges and nuances of implementing OKRs in non-tech industries. Kenneth highlights the differences in approach required for knowledge worker-based and labor-intensive non-tech companies.
  • [00:08:09] The Endurance of OKRs and Avoiding the Hype Cycle. Kenneth addresses how OKRs can be sustained beyond the initial hype. Kenneth emphasizes the importance of understanding the intent and principles of OKRs, rather than rigidly sticking to frameworks
  • [00:13:37] OKRs and Organizational Culture. Kenneth and Jenny delve into how OKRs can shape and influence organizational culture. They discuss the importance of adapting OKRs to align with the company's mission, work processes, and performance goals.
  • [00:17:14] Customizing OKRs for Maximum Effectiveness. Jenny and Kenneth explore the customization of OKRs to fit different organizations. Kenneth stresses the need to consider various factors like company size, industry, and culture to effectively implement OKRs.
  • [00:22:07] The Future of OKRs in Business. Jenny and Kenneth discuss the future of OKRs in business. Kenneth shares insights on the potential longevity of OKRs, how they can evolve, and the importance of adapting them to an organization's unique needs and aspirations.n making sense of changes and setting ambitious experiments to close gaps.

Relevant links

About our guest:

Kenneth Lewis headshot
Kenneth Lewis


Kenneth's purpose is to be that eternal flame that ignites passion and performance in others. He is the founder of Atlas Learning, an investor and advisor at Purposetrade, Grassroute, and Docmode, and a consultant with multiple firms. He's also the Co-founder of OKR International, the world’s largest OKR training, coaching and consulting company.