How to leverage generative AI to set awesome OKRs

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Organisations worldwide are constantly searching for innovative ways to stay ahead of the competition. One revolutionary tool that has gained prominence is generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). This advanced technology has penetrated various business processes, and one area where it can truly make a difference is in setting Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). In this post, we will discuss how you can use large language models like GPT-4 to generate ideas and create excellent OKRs. By utilising AI for creative thinking, you can develop ambitious yet realistic goals tailored to your team and organisation.

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI is a rapidly advancing area of AI that enables systems to create entirely new data, content, and artefacts. Unlike traditional AI systems that only analyse information, generative AI can synthesise completely original outputs based on its learnings.

These generative models use cutting-edge machine learning techniques such as deep neural networks that detect patterns in massive datasets, creating an understanding of the relationships between content elements such as words, pixels, brush strokes, and notes.

For example, a generative text model such as GPT-3 uses large collections of human-written texts to understand the context of language. It learns how words are used together, the likelihood of their order, and how to create logical sequences. This knowledge of language, style, and genre allows the model to produce new coherent text when given a prompt.

Generative models differ from earlier rules-based AI systems in that they do not depend on hardcoded templates and logical flows. Instead, they use deep neural networks to develop their own intuitive understanding of patterns and relationships. This enables them to handle significantly greater complexity and variation when creating new artefacts that are coherent, consistent, and aligned with the input prompts.

Generative AI technology has great potential in various fields, including content creation, design ideation, and code autocompletion. Its flexibility allows for breakthrough applications to be developed, making it a transformational platform for automation, augmentation, and imagination across every industry and organisation. Over the next few years, we can expect to see an even greater impact from generative models in various domains.

Why use Generative AI for OKRs?

Leveraging AI to create OKRs combines human insight and computer intelligence, enhancing an organisation's objective-setting abilities in several important ways:

1. Data-driven insights

Generative AI has the ability to analyse massive datasets at a rapid pace, beyond what humans can process. This makes it possible to identify patterns, trends, and insights. As a result, organisations can surface relevant signals to make informed decisions, such as creating ambitious yet grounded objectives as well as relevant key results that follow the SMART model.

For example, a retail company could leverage a generative model to ingest 5 years of historical sales data, product catalogues, customer segmentation models, economic projections, and public financials of key competitors. 

The AI could then highlight market growth opportunities, emerging consumer behaviours, supply/demand dynamics, and indications of where performance gaps exist relative to peers. This data-driven landscape analysis becomes a vital context for the leadership team as they define the next quarter's make-or-break objectives and key results.

With the help of AI, companies can gain better insights into target metrics and initiatives that will help them stand out from competitors and resonate with customers, rather than relying solely on past assumptions or individual perspectives.

2. Efficient planning

Many companies spend a lot of time defining their objectives and key results for each quarter or year. This process usually involves stakeholders having lengthy discussions, debating different perspectives, getting fixated on their own projects, and struggling to align on the metrics that are most likely to drive success. 

Generative AI can help streamline this process and make it more efficient. Instead of waiting for days or even weeks for a committee to agree on common ground, AI can quickly ingest the background information on the business and provide a diverse set of suggested objectives and supporting key results in minutes. Each proposal is based on data-backed market analysis, best practices, and an understanding of proven goal formulation frameworks. This dramatically accelerates the review process, and teams can now have an A.I.-generated shortlist of options to choose from, rather than starting from scratch. 

The AI takes care of the heavy lifting of research, ideation, and translation so that leaders can focus on higher judgment, which involves selecting and adapting the suggestions best suited to seize opportunities and align org-wide efforts.

3. Personalised objectives

One of the most challenging parts of creating effective OKRs is translating top-level organisational goals into related objectives across departments, teams, and roles. If employees do not clearly understand how their daily activities contribute to broader organisational success, they may become disengaged or misaligned. 

Generative AI can help by enabling personalised goal setting at scale. Similar to making recommendations that align with an organisation's overarching objectives, the AI can also suggest specific sub-goals for any group or individual, including departments, functions, managers, or contributors. To do this, the AI analyses historical performances and activity analytics to understand past contributions. Then, it evaluates ongoing strategic priorities and recommends next-quarter objectives that target each person or group's strengths, while supporting growth. This creates a synchronised organisation, with every individual empowered to deliver focused value through their objectives. No one needs to subjectively figure out how they plug into the larger mission. 

Generative AI provides the connective tissue between grand visions and ground-level activations. When everyone's goals directly ladder into the organisation’s OKRs, alignment, engagement, and ultimately execution all improve dramatically. 

4. Adaptability

One of the major challenges with traditional OKR setting is that goals can become outdated and irrelevant as market conditions and internal realities rapidly shift. By the time the leadership commits to an objective, the crucial dynamics that led to its selection may have already changed. This renders even the best-intentioned OKRs obsolete as guiding posts to drive execution. 

Fortunately, generative AI systems can dynamically sync OKRs with ever-evolving business contexts. With the capability to continuously ingest and analyse the influx of external and internal data, the AI can identify signals that require adjusting objectives or realigning key results.

This augmented level of situational awareness and rapid adaptation was never before possible. Leadership can now course correct with agility using Generative AI to process endless signals and effortlessly surf the waves of change.

Step 1: Brainstorm objectives 

The first step in setting great OKRs is deciding on the right objectives for your team over the next quarter. Objectives represent the meaningful outcomes you want to accomplish - your "North Star" goals. 

Generative AI can provide creative ideas for ambitious yet realistic objectives tailored to your business context.

Start by providing the AI assistant details about your organisation and team as prompt context. 


My company “Pawsome” helps you find local pet care in your neighbourhood. Our value proposition is making pet care accessible, affordable, and tailored to your pet's needs. Our current objectives and metrics are to increase our monthly active users by 30% and double-booked services through our platform. We have a team of 6 and are currently working on improving our recommendation algorithms to match users with the highest-quality pet care providers. Please propose 3-4 ambitious yet achievable quarterly objectives for my team. 

Here are the results from ChatGPT: 

These may need refinement, but this gives you a strong starting list to build from.

Review the suggested objectives. Identify ones that resonate as impactful for your business. Combine overlapping ideas. Re-word unclear language. 

Step 2: Use AI to develop key results

Once you have selected your objectives for the quarter, the next step is defining quantitative key results - the specific, measurable markers of success for each objective. This is where AI can again provide creative support.

For each objective, clearly articulate it back to the AI assistant - for example: 

One of my team's objectives is to enhance user engagement and retention. Provide 3-5 potential key results indicating progress towards accomplishing that objective. These key results need to be quantifiable and achievable within the next 90 days. 

Here are the results from ChatGPT: 

Step 3: Refine and finalise OKRs with AI feedback

The last step is finalising your draft OKRs based on recommendations from your AI assistant.  

After you have used the AI to help formulate objectives and key results, prompt it to critique the overall draft:

I came up with the following quarterly OKRs for my engineering team using your suggestions:

Objective 1: Improve app retention 40% 

KR1: Increase weekly sessions to 3 per user 

KR2: 8%+ more minutes per session

Objective 2: Add 2 new product features

KR1: Complete in-app payments feature  

KR2: Launch personalised alerts

Please review these draft OKRs and provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Here are the results from ChatGPT: 

The AI assistant will analyse your objectives against their key results, assess their ambition level given data you've provided about your team and company, and recommend modifications for clarity and increased likelihood of driving successful outcomes. 

An alternative to ChatGPT: How to use Tability to generate OKRs

Although generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can be helpful when creating your OKRs, they can cause a lot of context-switching. This, in turn, can lead to wasted time, increased errors, scattered thinking, and a loss of productivity.

To make the OKR process easier, we’ve integrated advanced generative AI into Tability to provide enhanced support for setting effective goals and tracking performance.

With Tability’s AI assistant, you can generate your OKRs in seconds and add them to your plan in one click. 

You can also try out our free AI-powered OKR generator.


Crafting effective OKRs can be a challenging task. Often, we find it difficult to come up with goals that are both ambitious and feasible. Our inherent cognitive biases restrict our ability to envision all the possibilities. Additionally, teams seldom agree on metrics that can drive significant outcomes. However, with the help of Generative AI, we can overcome these human limitations. AI possesses vast knowledge and creative capacity that can outperform any individual or group brainstorming. It suggests a multitude of fresh possibilities that are tailored to your business situation and resources. Instead of replacing human judgement, AI enhances it to make better decisions.  

Get started with AI-powered goal-setting and try Tability for free. 

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Jeremy Yancey

Head of Content, Tability

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