Does Google still use OKRs?

does google still use OKRs

Do teams at Google still use OKRs? If yes, then how?

Google adopted OKRs in the late 1990s, introduced by John Doerr. Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin brought OKRs to Google during its early stages, and the approach became integral to the company’s goal-setting and performance evaluation. 

Over the years, Google has consistently improved its use of OKRs, emphasizing transparency, alignment, and ambitious yet achievable objectives. 

The company’s commitment to fostering an innovative and responsible culture through OKRs has not wavered, impacting leadership, HR practices, and goal-setting for teams and employees.

Google continues to use OKRs as a fundamental part of its goal-setting and performance management strategy. Here are the main purposes for which Google employs OKRs:

1. Customer focus

Google’s OKRs frequently encompass the goals of providing value to customers and improving the user experience. This user-centric strategy guarantees that the company stays attuned to the needs and expectations of its users.

2. Innovation and ambition

Google uses OKRs to stimulate innovation and encourage ambitious, stretch goals.

The system supports a culture that values risk-taking and learning from successes and failures.

3. Agility

The flexible nature of OKRs allows Google to pivot quickly in response to changing market conditions or business priorities.

4. Performance evaluation and learning

Google sees OKRs not just as a tool for measurement but as a mechanism for continuous learning and improvement.

5. Employee engagement

OKRs contribute to employee engagement by providing a clear sense of purpose and direction.

Employees at Google can see how their individual contributions tie into broader company objectives, fostering a sense of impact and value

How did Google’s CEO break the rules on OKRs?

Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, broke the rules on OKRs by fostering a culture of adaptability and continuous learning.

Unlike traditional approaches, Pichai encourages teams to set ambitious goals, even if they fall short, emphasizing the importance of innovation and risk-taking. 

He recognizes that not all objectives may be fully achievable, but the process of pushing boundaries is crucial for driving progress.

Pichai’s leadership style reflects a shift from rigid adherence to goals to a more flexible and dynamic approach, allowing agility and responsiveness in the fast-paced tech industry.

This unconventional stance on OKRs aligns with Google’s commitment to fostering a creative and innovative work environment.


Google’s steadfast commitment to organizational excellence is exemplified through its extensive use of OKRs. 

As one of the world’s foremost technology giants, Google has successfully integrated OKRs into its corporate culture, utilizing this goal-setting framework to align diverse teams, drive innovation, and enhance overall performance.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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