How Seismic Made OKRs a Part of Company Culture
Who Is Seismic?

Seismic is the global leader in enablement, helping organizations engage customers, enable teams, and ignite revenue growth. The Seismic Enablement Cloud™ is the most powerful, unified enablement platform that equips customer-facing teams with the right skills, content, tools, and insights to grow and win. From the world’s largest enterprises to startups and small businesses, more than 2,000 organizations around the globe trust Seismic for their enablement needs. Seismic is headquartered in San Diego with offices across North America, Europe, and Australia.

Problems Seismic Needed to Solve

Seismic had tried other OKR solutions in the past, but they struggled to get the other solutions to stick. They lacked consistent adoption from the whole company, and needed to reimagine a new ideal process for setting and managing goals.

After experiencing rapid growth with no signs of slowing down, Seismic’s leadership team needed a way to keep their team aligned on what is most important, and ensure their operating framework captured how they would plan, execute, and review OKRs.

Seismic’s lack of adoption with OKR solutions in the past led to the leadership team missing important updates around how key initiatives were going. It also prevented employees from knowing how their work tied into the bigger company vision and plan. The CEO and leadership team needed a better way to see how their most important priorities were going, and to course correct when things fell off track.

Finally, Seismic needed a way to help their team better collaborate cross functionally on the most important strategic initiatives. With a rapidly scaling team, they needed to ensure alignment across different initiatives, and provide visibility into how various departments contributed to those initiatives.

Why Elate?
Why Did Seismic Choose Elate?

Seismic chose Elate to make execution a competitive advantage. With a focus on increasing adoption and engagement through a unified OKR framework, Elate’s radical simplicity helped bring this to life. The ease of use and intuitiveness of the platform unlocked engagement with employees to capture the insights needed to give executives and department leaders transparency across the business.

Elate’s reporting, automated reminders, and plug-and-play integrations helped streamline decision making and ensure execution of the strategic plan across the entire business. Having experienced a lack of adoption in previous OKR solutions, simplicity was key. Seismic immediately found value in their team members providing updates seamlessly in the tools they already use, like Slack.

Additionally, Elate and Seismic partnered on an implementation and enablement plan defined specifically to work with their existing business processes. Having had previous tools not work, Seismic needed to ensure this process worked within their regular meeting structure and team processes.

Elate and Seismic worked together to define an operating cadence, create a proposal for executive team buy-in, write a playbook for internal enablement, provided training, and collaborated on a plan to make sure Seismic was supported and guided at every step of their process.

Results for Seismic

After past missteps in rolling out OKRs, missing on a solution to drive transparency and bring their strategy to life was a non-negotiable. Seismic needed a solution that intuitively aligned team members and enabled adoption from day one. Here are some of their results:

Increased Transparency, Improved Engagement

Driving engagement wasn't just about asking employees for more updates. It was about driving transparency and alignment around what was a priority and why. Elate and Seismic partnered together to bring this to life. By focusing on the ‘why,’ Seismic helped team members better understand the importance of their work. Today, Seismic has over 75% of objective status updates provided on time, leading to more engaged team members who see how their contributions tie into company goals.  

A Healthier Plan with Better Execution

The real power of a solution like Elate lies in the ability to impact execution. Seismic leveraged Elate to help amplify the impact of their OKR framework and set clear expectations on building, tracking, and taking action on Objectives. The result: an incredible 87% Objective Success rate in the first quarter leveraging the platform.

Streamlined Updates for Driving Action

For any Strategic Plan Owner, the focus should be on driving action, not tracking down updates. Seismic streamlined the process of capturing updates to focus more on answering “what’s next?” Elate’s Nudge Report enables transparency around what objectives have not been updated on time, and simplifies how email and Slack reminders are sent to the team, saving dozens of hours manually tracking updates.

Creating a Unified View of Objectives and Results

A single-source of truth for transparently reporting on objectives and results was critical in Seismic’s evaluation of Elate. Seismic needed a solution that created a clear cadence for reviewing objectives and results. Elate has provided a central view of Seismic’s entire strategy, powering everything from leadership team meetings to department updates, saving hundreds of hours in manual reporting each quarter.

Use Case
How Seismic Uses Elate

Seismic has been able to successfully roll out 
and get adoption with their new goal setting framework and processes through Elate.

Tracking Progress on Key Initiatives with Regular Updates

By focusing on defining and communicating an operating cadence at the onset, Seismic established a culture that empowers employees with understanding the “why” behind the updates they are providing. With Elate as the solution to drive simple updates for employees, Seismic has seen a significant increase to the updates completed on time each week from employees.

Elate’s automated Slack reminders help streamline how the Seismic team provides updates. By meeting employees where they already work with notifications to spark simple updates, employees have a regular cadence to share feedback on their goals, and even reminders when they might forget. With Elate’s Nudge Report, Seismic admins can send custom reminders to quickly prompt their team to update objectives. This level of transparency and accountability helps the Seismic team emphasize a high performance culture.

Improved Transparency with Easy 
to Digest Scorecards for Leadership and Department Meetings

In team meetings, Seismic previously used spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations to communicate progress on key objectives and KPIs. The PowerPoints were not always standardized, which made for a time consuming process. Additionally, the lack of standardization added a mental burden in trying to digest the presentations at each meeting.

Seismic now runs their regular leadership team and department lead meetings in Elate. What used to take dozens of hours to prepare slides and review a spreadsheet can now be shared through Elate. This consistent process and standardization of visuals allows team members to better visualize how each initiative is trending, and if it is behind, at risk, or on pace.

Elate’s visualization tools allow everyone to see progress on company goals in an easy to consume way. Integrations with, Jira, among other tools, require the leadership team to give less manual updates before a meeting. Seismic’s operating cadence has helped standardized this process to make meetings more consistent with less prep work.

A Streamlined Planning Process 
with Executive Buy In

Seismic was very intentional about getting the CEO and Executive Team aligned and bought in on the strategic planning process from day one. The internal playbook that Elate and Seismic collaborated on gave the Seismic leadership team transparency into what was happening, when it was happening, why it was happening, and what was expected of them.

Seismic socialized why an effective strategic planning process was so important to the company’s success, which helped enable buy-in from executives and department leads.

This alignment in expectations and timelines helped the Seismic team streamline their planning process and build their plan with ease. Using Elate’s planning feature, Seismic was able to propose and review their objectives to each team. They were able to structure this activity based on the planning timeline they aligned to in the playbook, which allowed cross functional collaboration during the planning process to give feedback and approve objectives in time for company roll out.

A Shared Definition of Success

Seismic successfully aligned the company on what themes and objectives were the most important to focus on for the year. By defining themes in Elate, Seismic created a shared vision of where the company needed to go. These themes helped the Seismic team connect the company vision and execution.

Based on the themes, Seismic created supporting objectives and rolled them out at every level of the company. Success and transparency into the why behind the work made the objective creation process easier. This process helped the Seismic team understand how their work ties into the future of Seismic, which increased engagement with the goal setting process.

Real-Time Transparency on Progress

Seismic wanted to ensure deadlines were not missed, and that teams had access to real-time key results for objectives.

Elate’s and Jira integrations helped the Seismic team reduce double entry, and allowed them to keep their existing process for how their teams updated and Jira.

The lack of duplicative work streamlined this process for the Seismic team. Elate allows Seismic’s leadership to track their OKRs in one platform, while not requiring their team to change the way they work.

What Did Implementation Look Like for Seismic?

With an organization of Seismic’s size, Elate typically recommends a phased approach to rolling out a goal setting framework. With the amount of people involved in a company’s goal setting process, rolling out to everyone at once often can create a lack of adoption and misalignment of expectations. If timed improperly, goals become scattered and not rolled up to the company level themes and objectives, which leads to a lack of focus on what really matters.

Seismic and Elate partnered to create a project plan with a phased roll out, so everyone knew exactly what was expected of them, and when they would need to create their goals. Additionally, the team created a custom Strategic Planning Playbook and operating cadence to communicate best practices for this process.

Seismic had an OKR project lead that served as the main point of contact internally and with the Elate team, along with 
several other key stakeholders on the project team. Elate 
and Seismic partnered with their project team to create a 
plan for rollout.

More specifically, here were some phases of roll out:

- Initial alignment and definition of Seismic’s OKR playbook with Seismic’s project lead and the Elate team

- Feedback and approval of the OKR playbook from the CEO

- Elate training session for the executive team

- Executive objectives reviewed and approved

- Elate training session for the L2 team 
(Department leads and VPs)

- L2 objectives reviewed and approved

- Kickoff of quarter

- Ongoing updates and engagement

As part of this implementation process, the Elate team sent regular weekly updates of action items, meetings, and any blockers during implementation. This weekly update helped both teams stay on track to hit deadlines for the project plan, enabling Seismic to roll out on time.

Competitive Advantage
Dynamic Strategic Planning as a Competitive Edge

Are you interested in learning more about how today’s leading companies are leveraging their Strategic Planning process as a competitive edge?

Unlike Strategic Planning of the past, today’s Strategy and Operations leaders are evolving to meet the needs of their company. Rather than a static, manual process that feels more like checking a box, Elate can help evolve Strategic Planning to be a dynamic, real-time process that serves as a competitive advantage.

Our team would love to spend some time understanding what Strategic Planning looks like for your company today, and how we can help take it to the next level. Reach out to a member of our team, and we’ll be in touch today to schedule time to share how Elate can help make Dynamic Strategic Planning a competitive edge.

Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready
Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started? Ready to get started?
Request a Demo