Cisco Security: Results Aligned

A conversation with Anna Birch, Chief of Staff at Cisco


Cisco Security Business Chief of Staff, Anna Birch, and Deidre discuss the importance of alignment to drive growth in large enterprise. An acquired team brought OKRs in and the Security Business embraced them to unlock faster growth. Anna shares their journey, including the initial leadership alignment breakthrough, and how they’ve operationalized leading for results.

The Cisco Security Business OKR practice helps align teams on common growth objectives in a matrixed org with a deep product portfolio. Since the Security team brought OKRs and WorkBoard into Cisco, it’s continued to spread across other business units — especially those with collaboration and dependencies with Anna’s group.

Anna has been Chief of Staff for the Security Business Group GM since it acquired OpenDNS in 2015. At OpenDNS, she was VP of People Operations and Minister of Culture. These roles at the intersection of business outcomes and empowering people and culture to achieve them serve her well as she leads the OKR practice.