How Businesses Make Use of Bottom up OKR and Catchball

Table of Contents How Businesses Make Use of Bottom up OKR and CatchballBottom up OKR…

How Businesses Make Use of Bottom up OKR and Catchball

It is possible to adopt the bottom up OKR or Catchball approach to running your business or to use Catchball to help create your bottom up OKR goals. So, let us examine both approaches and how they can combine to mean that information is being exchanged in a much better way when it comes to the first stage of a strategic plan.

Bottom up OKR Goals

The bottom up OKR (objectives and key results) approach is where teams will develop a mission statement or come up with goals and then try to convince fellow employees and managers from the bottom up in terms of their position within a company which ordinarily would mean they would have no say or influence in how things are done.

Objectives will be the processes being followed that staff wish could be made less time-consuming when it comes to achieving the same result when they are perhaps already over-worked. The key results will be how this improvement is then measured while things are being made more efficient.


Catchball is a business approach to decision-making where ideas are pitched from one individual to another throughout the hierarchies of a company. The idea is based on the non-competitive game of catch during which players toss a ball among themselves.

It is a good way of allowing people at different levels within a company to come up with ideas from their experience of working in different positions and to exchange them directly. It is a much more efficient way of exchanging information, albeit minus the formality of the mission statement and goals recorded more officially.

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Combining Bottom up OKR Goals and Catchball

Because Catchball throws ideas between employees of different ranks, it is effective in moving ideas quicker between those at the lower and higher levels within a company. Because bottom up OKR goals will move ideas from the very bottom of a company and upwards, it is slower in its approach. So, if we combine bottom up OKR goals with Catchball, we can still have the mission statement and goals produced yet have that information move quicker between staff members in different positions within the company.

It will all be in the name of ideas finding themselves to the desired place within a company in the fastest amount of time so that the changes are then made as soon as possible. It is a win-win situation to combine these two approaches.

So, the only barrier to making use of the Catchball method is whether management will listen to those in a lower position when they consider it their job to come up with the solutions. The fact is, though, it is those employees working at the bottom level who will know best where things like bottlenecks exist, and so are best placed to advise on how they can work more effectively to the benefit of the company.

Inefficient working methods can be costly in terms of needing more staff to run and also something that can affect morale if workers feel that they are not listened to and feel unnecessarily over-worked.

Combining these two approaches is about good communication and everyone talking to each other to achieve the same common aim. What saves money for a manager trying to control a budget will, at the same time, make a job easier and perhaps less monotonous for the worker on the bottom rung of the hierarchal ladder. Everyone will embrace this approach to strategic planning when it is of mutual benefit.

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In conclusion, as a company, we should consider the Catchball approach as a faster way of making improvements to processes with it being a more direct way of exchanging ideas. We can, however, still make use of the mission statements and goals of the bottom up OKR goals approach when disseminating information between lower and higher ranks.