The cultural support at Intuit enabling employee leaders to create company-wide initiatives


  • Reference meeting: "a06-830 — okr and culture — revisiting Intuit story and their OKR structure that improved collaboration horizontally e9b97bbf-c33b-452f-834e-7b5f9355faaf Tuesday, February 4⋅10:15 – 11:15am".
  • Related: Public meeting / Culture / The cultural support at Intuit enabling employee leaders to create company-wide initiatives

  • Parent project: Course on Culture and Leadership

  • Participants: Marcio S Galli
  • Text language: en-us
  • Tags: Leadership, HR, Human Resources, Intuit: Katie Levy, Intuit: Shelby Cohen, The Alliance: Reid Hoffman, The Alliance: Ben Casnocha, culture, technology, OKR, horizontal collaboration. John Doerr, Bill Campbell.

  • Dictionary: OKR - objectives and key results. Intuit - the company.

  • People: Bill Campbell, John Doerr, Ben Casnocha, Reid Hoffman, Katie Levy, Shelby Cohen.

  • Context: Study notes taken from the book Measure What Matters - about Intuit collaborative structure and goal impact.

  • Document status: Copyright, draft.

Study notes

OKR and horizontal alignment

"Horizontal alignment comes naturally. With open, public goal setting, the data and analytics team could see from the start what our financial systems team had in mind. It was immediately obvious that they should be working together, in parallel. The teams linked up their objectives on real time, rather than after the fact - a sea change from our historical way of doing things. " (Doerr John, 2018, p. 109)

A modern feedback system for planning in alignment with with cloud age

John Doerr indicates that twentieth-century companies move forward with a rear mirror feedback system (Doerr John, 2018, p. 109) as they do analysis after the fact, such as postmortem analysis.

Conversely, he adds, "By contrast, a cloud-based business wants to know what is happening now." He makes a strong point in the sense that all OKRs, individual or team-based, should be open, in real time.

He makes a strong point that Intuit leadership understands the that their realtime solution for OKR relates aligns with cloud days real time aspects. If people aligns their goals with more real time communication, and if company output is being provided in real time, then one thing can feedback the other.

More access to real time data was promoted as a company wide goal

  • Enabling access to real time data is a goal at intuit. (Doerr John, 2018, p. 109)

Collaboration culture

  • Intuit, they created a top-level OKR for helping the company to improve in modern online collaboration methods. (Doerr John, 2018, p. 110)

  • Intuit was always a flat organization — decisions were based in best ideas, not per title. (Doerr John, 2018, p. 112)

Vertical access and improvement of horizontal collaboration

  • Vertically open — Intuit was vertically open, they encouraged an employee to talk to the manager, and to the manager's manager, for example. (Doerr John, 2018, p. 112)

  • Vertically access was improved with horizontal communication — According to John Doerr (Doerr John, 2018, p. 109) "everybody in IT instinctively wanted to align with their manager's goals, and mine". John visited the platform and found that hundreds of employees had their OKRs linking to his top-level objectives. John encouraged them to explore more the horizontality and to also keep the manager role involved ("your manager is still your manager"). This horizontal access improved autonomy.

  • More autonomy horizontally and what would be the vertical? — It's a natural question: if you have more autonomy, and collaboration, horizontally, what would happen with the vertical structure, for example considering the employee and her manager? John pointed that managers continued to play an active and strategic role taking care of things such as: a) setting context b) asking big questions and c) furnishing relevant data. (Doerr John, 2018, p. 112)


Doerr, J. (2018). Measure what matters: OKRs - the simple idea that drives 10x growth. London: Portfolio/Penguin.

Marcio é um empreendedor com interesse em inovação, empreendedorismo, cultura e gestão. Formado em ciências da computação, Marcio fez seu estágio de graduação no Vale do Silício em uma das empresas que marcaram a história da Internet (Netscape Communications). Posteriormente mudou-se para o Vale do Silício trabalhando para Netscape / America Online, Yahoo! e posteriormente ao voltar ao Brasil, para a Mozilla Corporation (criadores do navegador Firefox). Antes de se tornar empreendedor e consultor, Marcio pôde colaborar com vários departamentos como marketing, inovação, engenharia e em times de documentação e evangelismo. Se tornou autor de patentes internacionais e gosta de estudar e escrever para os futuros empreendedores e gestores. Marcio é apaixonado por comunicação, negócios, tecnologia e cultura. Alguns dos seus livros preferidos são High Output Management, Conscious Business, The Hard Things about Hard Things, Maslow on Management, The Startup of You, The Alliance, Zero to One, dentre outros.

Made with ❤ by Marcio and MePlex