Agile Strategy & OKRs

Agile strategies and OKRs for startups, agencies and SMEs

As a business leader in a rapidly evolving industry, you probably already know that an agile strategy helps you dynamically adapt yourself and the business to change. In this context, you might have already dealt with the topic of OKR. We help companies define OKRs and align your entire strategy. In doing so, we pick you up exactly where you currently stand in the topic. Here you can consider comprehensive consulting services and/or our valuable toolbox.

Why OKRs?

It is not enough to set up an agile company in high-growth industries. With OKRs you have a professional goal setting system. The difference for medium/long-term objectives and short-term objectives already plays a role in the terminology. OKRs are medium/long-term objectives, while Key Results are short-term targets. OKRs are agile target setting systems. They are constantly adapted to current developments. This applies not only to the company as a whole, but also to individual teams and organizational units. Above all, there is an overall strategy that enables the company and each organizational subunit to respond to specific changes in an agile manner.

How can OKRs be developed?

If there is to be an entire strategy behind an OKR, it is recommended to develop the OKR in several steps:

Step 1

Asking “why” establishes a goal that extends beyond 12 months. This could be, for example, a stronger perception in the market in the next year.

Step 2

The individual organizational units, such as the marketing team, set shorter goals. For example, they determine where they want to be in terms of market perception in 3 months. Here they would discuss for example, whether to use paid marketing or how else to position themselves more strongly in the market with targeted content management. The question here is “how”.

Step 3

Now you define concrete changes that result from the new strategic approaches. For example, a marketing team would now use KPIs to describe how specifically lead inquiries or visits to the website will develop within the next 3 months. In this 3rd step, the question of “what” is answered.

Our toolbox refers exactly to these 3 steps and is therefore an excellent tool to define your OKRs. Subunits, such as individual teams, can also use this toolbox to define their specific objectives to become and, most importantly, stay agile. Likewise, you ensure that OKRs remain aligned with the overall strategy.

How is an OKR set up in an agency, startup, or SME?

In this section, we address how the overall strategy is brought together with the objectives of the subdivisions. Again, we recommend a step-by-step approach in different phases.

Phase 1 – Aligning strategically

At this point, it’s all about the overall strategy. For example, the strategy aims to grow rapidly overall with the company and the market. You could proceed here in several sub-steps as follows:

  1. Where are we – status quo? Where do we want to go – benchmarking?
  2. A Startegyzer summarizes the overall strategy, the vision behind it and the purpose of all change efforts.
  3. Strategic sub-goals and KPIs are defined.
  4. Who is responsible for implementing the strategy?

Phase 2 – Establishment of OKRs in the individual teams

Phase 3 – Define each OKR with the overall strategy in mind

Phase 4 – Establish an OKR routine to be consistently agile

Phase 5 – The respective OKR is integrated into the measurement of performance

Advantages of OKRs in the context of an overall strategy

By incorporating an overall strategy, you can be agile with your business while maintaining a comprehensive set of goals. Each team successfully sets short-term goals that are in line with the overall strategy. At the same time, the short-term goals can always be adapted to the respective subsequent developments. The strategy therefore remains agile enough, but is also aligned with a long-term objective. OKRs are the perfect tools to develop the different types of goals in a short time. Top performers such as Google or Amazon have therefore long since discovered Objectives for themselves. In this context, being agile does not mean doing without visions or long-term objectives. Quite the opposite. You work with the company in an agile way to achieve visions and long-term goals.

What can we do for you?

We support you in all phases of strategy setting and OKR development. Let’s have a first conversation to find out where you stand with your company and what the next steps could be.

You are already familiar with OKRs? Then discover our toolbox for yourself. For only 150 EUR you will receive tailor-made tools that will help you and your team to get the most out of OKRs. More info here or contact us now.

If you want to learn more about other topics, you can follow us on our social media or on our website

LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube and Facebook.

Take care and stay healthy,

Your Amaze Growth Team

How to: Development of Digital Marketing Strategy

As the digital marketing industry develops further, the skills needed to stay on the Top are constantly changing. This has not only been proven by Amaze Growth’s findings, but also by the Forrester Study from 2020.
We have developed our online Consulting Skills course precisely for the Growth Needs of marketing agencies in 2021. Therefore, our last webinar was dedicated to the application of the Consulting Skills and in particular on the development and implementation of a strategy.

Continue reading



Self-leadership is a really important skill to build-up in organizations to become innovative and agile. Companies that show high self-leadership skills can more easily adjust to a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment (VUCA). 

Why this?

Because every employee will respond to a VUCA world with Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility.

How can you foster more self-leadership in your organization?

Neurologically spoken you need to provide a significant amount of understanding of self-leadership among your employees. You need to train self-leadership and your employees need to have the space as well as the flexibility to apply self-leadership.

We build-up self-leadership in organizations in three phases:

PHASE 1: Understand yourself

Understanding yourself means to apply a deep understanding of how you have been wired – how you can regulate yourself and how you can connect to your full potential.

Know how your brain is wired

We human beings have a unique and fascinating brain. We are born unfinished and until 25 our brain is formed. However, until a very high age, we have the ability to adapt to different environments since we are not hardwired. This means that every situation, every new event or relationship will shape our brains. 

Knowing this it is quite important to understand how our brain has been shaped predominantly during our life experience. We normally conduct individual or team personality tests, such as DISC or MBTI to understand how we may behave in certain situations.

We also mention that our brain dominance is not ending and each new experience such as Corona will change our personality style.

Regulate Yourself

We have not only neurons in our brain, we have another 20 billion neurons in our autonomous and endogenous system. Especially in times of home office, we recommend to exercise frequently embodiment, mindfulness and focus exercises.

The embodiment exercises are simple desk yoga exercises that will help you to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and to calm down stress. 

Mindfulness exercises help you to shut down the brain frequency in your cognition (brain) – If you are deeply connected with your parasympathetic nervous system you will be able to connect to your unconscious and your creativity and intuition. Hence, the focus of working should no longer be conducted than 25 minutes followed by a subsequent pause.

Connect to your full potential

Living and working according to your strengths will help you to foster high performance talents in your organization. Hence it is even more important to discover your own values and strengths. We normally conduct with teams, Martin Seligmen’s  values in  action. Try it out here and find out what your top five strengths are. 

PHASE 2: Set your focus

Your organisation will only grow exponentially if you have people that have their own purpose, vision, goal and care and that will integrate it in your organisation’s vision alignment. How can you achieve this?

Set your Purpose & Vision

We align in a three step approach with teams to set their own purpose and vision. It is not an easy step to define a clear vision where to go but it is an important step to get achievements done.

Set your goal and care

As a subsequent step, we align required goals and how to build-up a growth mindset and care to achieve these goals. This is important to become persevering to achieve things.

Keep yourself motivated

Even with the best defined purpose and vision, it is not always easy to keep yourself motivated to continue your goal achievement. Hence we recommend easy techniques to keep motivation on a daily basis high and to allow everyone to see that a vision is a journey of growth.

PHASE 3: Live your focus

Even if you have people that have a clear vision for themselves and your company it is a daily effort to keep everyone to live according to their focus. We have another three easy techniques to keep the focus setup high.

Develop a growth mindset

A growth mindset is a positive attitude to learn to develop your own growth path and to motivate yourself with the right resources to step out of the comfort zone into the growth zone. This also includes a good understanding of how to stay healthy in the growth zone.

Regulate your emotions

It is important to understand situations if we are more in a stressful balance or if we have a good work-life balance. Especially for high potentials it is important to provide good techniques to balance stress and to regulate emotions to connect to cognition and creativity.

Connect to your full potential

Thoughts create feelings and feelings create behavior. We can determine our own destiny and our own wellbeing. Building up a positive and innovative culture it is even more important to teach cognitive behavior techniques to twist all negative thoughts into positive emotions.

We currently develop a course for high potentials to learn how to lead yourself. If you are interested to get Beta access, please subscribe here.

We hope now you have a better understanding of self-leadership and would love to hear your opinion about it.

If you want to know more about us then read here

Take care and stay healthy,

Your Amaze Growth Team

Tribe Organizations

Tribe Organizations

In this article we will give you hands-on insights and a simple DIY guide why Tribe Organizations are beneficial to foster growth and innovation and how to implement it in your company.

First we need to Trust

Before we normally start to coach and consult organizations to develop autonomous and flexible tribes, we emphasize that the most important foundation is trust.

And trust starts with the leadership; how trustful is your leadership style?

A Harvard study also showed that compared with people from low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 

  • 74% Less stress
  • 106% More Energy
  • 50% Higher Productivity
  • 76% More Engagement

How to start to redesign your organization?

Have you ever sketched how your organisation is organized? If you want to build-up a sustainable long-lasting organisation it should not be dependent on one-single contributor. You should rather have a strong interaction of different experts to create high-performing value.  

There are 2 principles an organisation can be designed as. Either “Functional” or “Customer-Centric Network”.

  • In a functional organisation teams work very much on themselves and in their field of competences. They are not so strong in connecting to other functions. Team members therefore work in parallel and not as one team.
  • Cross-functional teams on the other side are a lot more dynamic. The people learn more in 360 approaches and they learn more because they are involved with each other. They can be a lot more flexible and have a better understanding of the different areas. They are real creator teams that work together and collaborate.

In today’s world it is especially important to know all the aspects of your working environment. This comes a lot with self-organisation. This means that your team organises itself from within. The team starts to develop their own schedule and what best serves the client.

So how to setup tribes in agencies?

A tribe is a full stack autonomous team in which there are all the different specialists necessary to create a product, to deliver a service or to develop a client. 

We have implemented tribe organizations in countless organizations and if you consider to leverage innovation and creativity benefits in your organization – our useful DIY (do-it-yourself) guide may help you. We normally transfer teams into tribes in 5 major steps:

1. Define your value creation responsibility: First you need to have a defined WHY for your organisation as well as Goals and Objectives to work towards them. Also you should define your value on how to scale your organisation. Define who should be responsible on C-level for the value drivers and define how this value drivers will develop strategically. You need to be precise in areas like: Business Development, New Sales Acquisition, Customer Development, Delivery & Innovation, Service Quality and People Recruiting & Development.

2. Define your Chapters: You should define your organisational levers of the client, service and talent perspective. Also decide on your rules to set up the tribe. For example, the clients should be owned by the service function with the highest impact or the service delivery should be as efficient as possible. Lastly, you should decide on what framework your organisation should be set up. But you can be creative. It is not an EITHER OR decision, it can also be AND. For example you can run 2 days a week functionally and 3 days per week customer centric.

3. Define your Span of Control: You should define your span of control. Who has control over what?

4. Define Artefacts: You should define your artefacts. There can be divided between 3 major ones; Roles & Responsibilities, Tools/Artefacts, Events. We propose a scrum process for digital marketing agencies to develop larger accounts.

5. Pilot soft & implement: You really have to implement it, in order to really make it happen. 

Apply six rules to leverage your teams to autonomous teams.

    • The team has a joint vision 
    • Retrospectives are installed
    • The team has joint values
    • The team has created atmosphere of trust
    • Common artefacts are installed
    • Everyone is a self-leader

So now how can you delegate responsibility in your organization?

Delegating is not an easy thing; especially when implementing tribes. However, we were quite successful in installing delegation levels in transformation. We experienced that for instance the  delegation poker is a powerful tool during your transformation process.

We hope now you have a better understanding of tribe organizations and would love to hear your opinion about it.

If you want to know more about us then read here

Take care and stay healthy,

Your Amaze Growth Team

Agile Client Development

Agile Client Development

In this blog article, we discuss how digital marketing agencies can analyse, measure and push their own client development.

What you will learn from this article:

  • Understanding of your current customer lifetime value
  • How to setup scrum roles within your client development
  • How to conduct agile retrospectives with  clients


To explain the most important points in detail, we divided the content into the following points: 

  1. Definition of customer lifetime value
  2. Scrum roles in client development
  3. Agile retrospectives with clients

1. Definition of “Customer Lifetime Value”

In easy words, the Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) can be defined as the value a customer generates during their time as customer 
of a company. 

To calculate the CLTV of your agency, you can use the following formula:

Our Tip: To make it easier for you at the beginning, you can use estimates to get a first idea of your numbers and standing. 

In action, it could look like this:

The formula clearly shows that your client development potential is linked to your agency’s customer lifetime value. If you want to push the numbers / KPIs of your agency, we recommend you the following actions:

2. Roles in Client Development

We propose a scrum process for digital marketing agencies to develop larger accounts. If you want to know more about how a scrum process looks like or how it works, please read our blog article from February 2020: here.

In order to achieve an agile client development, you should keep the following 4 points in mind:

Summary of Roles in Client Development: 

  • It is important to think of all the roles and responsibilities in the client development sprint
  • Differentiate between clients that can be developed and clients that can not be developed
  • Define communication levels according to development potential of your clients 
  • Assign roles and templates that are used within each client development meeting 

3. Agile retrospectives with clients

We propose five steps to develop a strategic roadmap with your clients:

1. Marketing Strategy & Customer Journey:

a) Discuss with your clients how they want to develop their market in 2021 

b) Define an individual customer journey with your clients to understand the          interdependencies of marketing & sales. Furthermore, define the re-purchasing cycle of your clients and derive the logic of retention vs. lifespan

c) Analyse your clients’ current customer base and derive their Recency, Frequency & Monetary Model (RFM)

2. Value Case & Strategic Roadmap: 

a) Define a value case on basis of your clients’ individual needs

b) Define objectives with real numbers to reach the value case

c) Calculate business targets to reach

3. Media Mix: 

a) Align on how to allocate the required budget among different media channels 

b) Attribute your budgets according to your marketing channels

c) Define the See-Think-Do-Care funnel with your clients in a service map

4. Seasonal Campaigns:

a) Define the seasonal campaigns with your clients to push sales & increase basket value

b) Define your audience targeting for each of the campaigns and also the format video, display, text or audio

c) Discuss how a technology stack can be built that allows sequencing and optimisation of first party data

5. Operational KPIs:

Align on your operational KPIs to measure to see how to increase their performance 


If you want to get to know more…….

Sales excellence in the new reality

Sales excellence in the new reality

In this blog article, we discuss how agencies can apply a demand generation process for the retail industry to grow fullistically. Furthermore we will outline an easy step by step guide of how to define a demand generation and sales process for retailers in your agency.

What you will learn from this article:

  • Growth needs to be planned from your purpose and vision to actionable OKRs
  • For service brands, such as agencies it is important to review your current client structure and your existing human capital
  • A growth definition cycle should be conducted in Q4 and ready to start working on in beginning of January 
  • It is important that you understand that growth in agencies is four-dimensional
  • It is crucial to set a clear focus on either new acquisition or client development 
  • To know when you have to innovate a new service package to reach different client groups’ needs
  • The sales process has four phases: prospecting, lead management, client onboarding and client retention
  • The more digitized data is used in your prospecting phase the better your scaling will work

The more precise your offering is outlined within the lead mgmt. phase the higher will your hit rate be

To explain the most important points in detail, we divided the content into the following points: 

  1. Your agency growth needs
  2. Acquisition vs. Cross Sales 
  3. Demand generation for retailers
  4. Execute prospect & lead generation
  5. Increase your conversion rate (Hit Rate)

1. Your agency growth needs

First of all, you need to understand your current growth traction. Did you grow mainly because of  existing clients or because of new clients you were able to acquire?

Tip: To analyse your growth traction we recommend to fill out an easy template to  clearly visualise your findings for the whole team.

Based on your findings, we recommend to develop an easy and  sufficient growth plan for 2021, which could look like this:

In order to reach the goals of your growth plan, you should start to work with the right strategic Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), that need to be reviewed on a regular basis. To do so, we recommend to make use of an OKR Cycle:

2. Acquisition vs Cross Sales

On the basis of your client service map analysis (for help please click here), you will be able to figure out your clients white spots and thus the growth pillars you will need to focus on. Usually, we use the Ansoff Matrix to evaluate with our clients whether to acquire new or existing clients:

Depending on your evaluation of your client development potential, you have to set the strategic focus on “New Acquisition” OR “Cross Sales”. E.g. If you want to primarily offer new services to existing clients, you should focus on a so called Cross Sales Strategy.

3. Demand generation for retailers

It is more difficult to create trust in the virtual world as in reality, because we only develop oxytocin, the neurotransmitter of trust, if we have physical contact with people. 

Thus, it is necessary to find engaging ways in order to strengthen the relationship with e.g. retail clients when speaking to them on remote. Our tips are:

  1. Explain the principles of oxytocin
  2. Grab a virtual coffee together
  3. Ask everyone to switch on the camera
  4. Ask more questions
  5. Present with two voices

When it comes to demand generation, we recommend to:

  1. Understand how to generate demand in general 
  2. Tell a real storyline 
  3. Talk with the help of engaging slides

Demand generation process

4. Execute prospect & lead generation

We divide a sales process in four phases (1) Prospecting (2) Lead Management (3) Customer Onboarding (4) Customer Retention:

Furthermore, a good prospecting process is based on a clear definition of your desired customer segment and offering:

A good lead management process on the other hand has five different stages supported with digital tools:

In order to assess the performance of your sales phases, we recommend defining the right KPIs in order to track your success. Possible KPIs, mapped to the individual sales pages could look like this:

As a result, an exemplary approach of KPI setting and tracking could look like this:

5. Increase your conversion rate (Hit Rate)

Based on our experience the hit rate can be significantly improved by following these 5 steps: 

  1. Digitalise your pre-sales process with a flow of activities and client interactions 
  2. Develop a diagnostic before you offer. This creates trust but also your signal if the client is suitable for your service
  3. Provide your clients modular offerings to choose from
  4. Investigate negative feedback with a quick survey or a call
  5. Evaluate your outcomes on a monthly bases

If you have any questions or need help on specific topics, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Your Amaze Growth Team 

Retail opportunities in the new reality

Retail opportunities in the New Reality

In this blog article, we discuss how the “New Reality” accelerates digitalisation needs in the marketing and sales funnels of retailers. Furthermore, we outline how agencies can offer specific new services which retailers need & how to scale offerings with a retail service map.

What you will learn from this article:

  • A good understanding of the marketing & sales funnels of retailers
  • Digitalisation of retail business models
  • A tool to segment your customers to read retail signals in your CRM
  • How retailers fight for customers and their data 
  • Agencies can support retailers to find the right customers at the right moment within the customer journey
  • All agencies that want to be leading have to switch from a channel perspective to a funnel perspective


To explain the most important points in detail, we divided the content into the following points: 

  1. Marketing & Sales funnels of retailers
  2. Digitalisation of retail business models
  3. How to read signals as agencies
  4. Digital marketing needs of resellers and consumer goods manufacturers
  5. How to use a service map as an agency

1. Marketing & Sales funnels of retailers

A Marketing & Sales funnel is normally based on a marketing and product strategy:

Hence, the nature of Marketing & Sales funnels varies between three different types…

A: Retail 

B: Lead Generation

C: Business & Industrial Markets

With underlying branches. Please Note: In your country there might be different retail branch associations – check it out to get in touch with them!

Tip: Sit down with your team and evaluate your current customer portfolio with a quick analysis

This will help you to get more insights about your own portfolio as well as to derive future measures based on your results.

2. Digitalisation of retail business models

In retail we differentiate between a Consumer Goods Manufacturer and a Reseller. 

A: Reseller: Buy several brands and re-sell them <70% of own brands

B: Consumer Goods Manufacturer: Develop several products & brands >70% of own brands

In recent years, the digital transformation has emerged 6 different position strategies among retailers:

In short – The sales channels of all four business models vary, as illustrated in the following example:

Which means that each retailer is developing its own positioning to strive for a higher profit margin in their segment. Furthermore, the strategic positioning of the diversification of the sales channel is the indicator how to set up the digital marketing strategy.

3. How to read signals as agencies

Agencies can only become smart if they first of all, understand the system of their agency. According to Leyla Acaroglu, there are 6 major tools that help you to understand systems:

In order to get an overview of how your agency really works, we recommend starting to build a retail pipeline overview in order to derive valuable insights about your own system, including your own business model and the major branches you serve.

Tip: Present your results in a form like this, to be able to discuss your conclusion with the whole team in order to derive the appropriate future measures:

4. Digital marketing needs of Resellers and Consumer Goods Manufacturers

The most important objective for any CMO is to reduce the overall Customer Acquisition Cost. In order to be able to do that, customer insights and data are getting more and more valuable. As a result, digital marketing agencies should approach three services in their service map 2021 as retailers fight for customers and to own their data.

Furthermore, the changed placement network during lockdowns forces consumer goods manufacturers to communicate more directly.

5. How to use a service map as an agency

We recommend to implement all your services into one single service map, which can be adjusted to the needs of your customers (Ecommerce, Omnichannel, Consumer Goods Manufacturer) in order to not only get an overview for yourself but also to be able to analyse up- and cross-sale potentials for your customers.

If you want to get advice on any of the mentioned topics or if you want a template for our service map, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. 

Your Amaze Growth Team 

Skill 4: Meta Thinking & Structuring

Meta Thinking & Structuring

In today’s article of our blog series on Consulting Skills, we will introduce you to the fourth level, Meta Thinking & Structuring. It is about questioning your own thinking and understanding existing relationships between categories in order to drive your business forward in the long term.

4. Meta Thinking & Structuring

In order to achieve the best possible result, as a consultant you should always question and analyse all situations. It is important to correctly assess topics and interrelationships that are “above the surface”. However, you should also know and understand what is going on “below the surface”.

What do we mean by Meta Thinking & Structuring?

Meta thinking means thinking about one’s own thinking and constantly questioning it. The aim is to understand existing structures within your company and to discover and visualise new structures. This procedure will help you to derive predictions on a sound basis and to initialise actions based on them.

How can Meta Thinking & Structuring be approached?

Meta thinking can be trained with the help of the following steps:

Establish connections & visualise:

It is important that you learn how to make connections and then visualise them.
Here is an example: You have different words and now you try to put them together in logical groupings. Brainstorm the different words with post-its and then put them in a logical order. This process is also called boxing.

Making predictions

After you have successfully grouped them, you can now make predictions about the individual groups by assigning them to a super category that you have previously defined.

Ask questions, summarise & clarify: 

Now ask the right questions so that a solution can be summarised and the result clarified. In this way you can get the greatest possible and most goal-oriented output.
Possible questions are:

  • Which category is the most profitable?
  • Which category has the highest customer loyalty?
  • What is our goal? Is the goal to gain more customers?
  • What are our main goals that can be derived from this?

Why is Meta Thinking & Structuring important, especially for consultants?

Meta Thinking & Structuring is essential, especially for agencies, in order to be able to tailor and communicate their own service offers clearly and in a structured way to the needs of their customers. The own approach should be constantly reviewed in order to identify and implement optimisation possibilities.

How can Meta Thinking & Structuring be trained?

In order to take your own thinking and structuring to the next level, you need to practice continuously. You will find out how to do this in the following:

A: Understanding

Assess your current strength of meta thinking
Define a training plan on how the skills are to be developed
Install a 1:1 Routine Senior-Junior to develop the “Meta Thinking Skills

B: Practice

Possess the ability of meta-thinking and structuring

  • Train the C & B level to be able to derive ontology relationships (recommended with a trainer / coach).
  • Learn to build ontology relationships with real cases

Development of meta thinking on a 1:1 basis

  • Development of meta thinking on a 1:1 basis with real cases
  • Give frequent feedback to get better
  • Reflect in group sessions on the personal ability of meta thinking development

If you want to get to know more about us or about what we do and what we offer or if you have any questions on this topic or on our insights, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Furthermore, you can watch the video from our Community Call here: Video of the call. Moreover we have provided the slides of the call for you here.
Next week we will continue with the fifth part of the Consulting Skills: Value Case & Conception.
Your Amaze Growth / Accelerate Coach Team