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Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results
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Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,209 ratings  ·  134 reviews
How do you inspire a diverse team to work together, going all out in pursuit of a single, challenging goal? How do you get your team to commit to bold goals? How do you stay motivated despite setbacks and disappointments? And what do you do when it looks like you’re headed for failure?

In Radical Focus, Christina Wodtke combines her hard earned experience as an executive a
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Kindle Edition, 154 pages
Published February 7th 2016 (first published February 1st 2016)
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kartik narayanan
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Folks, here's our second podcast - on the book Radical Focus. Please listen, share and give us feedback. Podcast

The text review is available at Digital Amrit

Here's an excerpt...
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Today we will be looking at Radical Focus – a book which introduces the concept of OKRs – Objectives and Key Results and how they can be used in organizations as well as in our personal lives. Well, what are OKRs and how can they help you?

Let us consider these fictional situations.



You are part of a t
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Qwantu Amaru
Mar 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Fantastic model - average book

The OKR model is a great way to drive more focus into an organization and achieve greater results. My issue is the structure of the book. Part overview, part fable, and part testimonial it seems like the author should have stuck with a single approach for clarity's sake. Really enjoyed the fable part actually as she writes this as if it were a novel with a great detail orientation.
Rian Merwe
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a really difficult one to rate. The ideas in the book are great—we are implementing OKRs at our company and this model is perfect for us. That said, the first 2/3rds of the book is almost entirely unnecessary. It's meant to be a real-life application but it reads like a bad romance novel ("Jack grimaced ruefully" is an actual sentence in the book).

My advice is to skip the first 2/3rds entirely, and get to the really great stuff in the last 1/3rd of the book.
Erin Weigel
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I primarily read business and personal development books, and I tend to have an aversion to any kind of fiction. When I read stories or novels, they're almost always based on real events or are biographies.

The way Christina Wodtke wrote "Radical Focus" is a refreshing approach to business books, which uses storytelling as a method of teaching the goal-setting philosophy behind OKRs. I'm certain I will find myself referring to the events and learning from the characters in the book while my team
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Ricardo Magalhães
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I never thought I'd rate a business-oriented book 5 stars, not owning a business myself, but here I am doing so. I've always been vaguely aware of OKRs and how they could be applied to business thinking, but never in such clarity as I now possess after reading this. Firstly, the book itself is beautifully engaging; using storytelling, Christina stays clear of the typical "shoulds and musts" in every technical book out there. Mind you, these bits exist, but they're very cleverly inserted between ...more
V
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
A lot of common sense riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. The book could be codensed to: set a large objective you can use to frame your goals, set smaller reach goals that support the larger objective, rinse and repeat every quarter. Things to watch out for: sandbagging (setting easily-achieved goals), losing momentum after the first failure, maintaining steam and morale in the face of intentionally hard-to-reach goals.

I wouldn't recommend this book. Search "OKRs" and I'm sure the fir
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Mohammed Al-Mansari
Very nice book with a smart style that goes from the definition to an amazing example story to more insights to a number of valuable quotes to a final summary. I recommend to add more fine grained examples and guidance comments that cover lower management levels.
Dave Bolton
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Straight forward narrative on how OKRs work, highlighting some of the gotchas for new players. Quick read, good to get a team across the intent of the framework.
Jose Papo
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
This book explains about the OKRs system of management. It uses the format of a novel (like the book "The Goal" by Goldratt) to explain the concepts. It's very basic and doesn't go deep in specific details and questions, but it's a good book if you are starting with the OKRs system.
Razin Mustafiz
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed parts of this book especially the chapters on the fictional startup. But the rest felt like a really long blog post. If you're new to OKRs, I'd recommend High Output Management by Andy Grove instead.
Rafael Mueller
Amazing book, it's like 'ORK from the trenches"
Ola
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A page turner and a very useful one.
Oleg Shpak
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easy to understand introduction into idea of OKR. Story about fictional startup is relatable and examples make sense. This is the book to read to accept idea of OKR. It is much better intro than dry Doerr's book or Google's presentation. I heard text book had a lot of cringeworthy grammar errors so I got an audiobook. No issues there.
Faith
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Skip the stupid narrative about the hipster tea company and go straight to the end of the book where there’s some helpful info on OKRs. Like most business books, this could have been a pamphlet.
Benton Turner
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book. Focus is so important today. In anything you do, whether it's startups, or anything else. You need radical focus to resist the shiny objects motivated to take your attention, more accessible and potent than ever before. Most people don't do well to resist them, and so you have a competitive advantage by doing so. Similarly, at the organization level, your startup, or whatever you are working on, benefits from focus. It's easy to be derailed when you encounter inevitable challenges fro ...more
Tõnu Vahtra
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was idling in my "to read" list for too long, discovered it a few months ago through a reference from Marty Cagan's "Inspired". Didn't expect much from a 160-page book, especially after discovering that half of it is written in a fictional management fable format. In this sense it actually reminds me a bit of Lencioni's books (5 dysfunctions of a team et al). Actually the book was just about the right length so that there wasn't any considerable repetition. I have been looking for a go ...more
Anton Nikolov
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read the whole book because I enjoyed the story that describes the application of OKR's. We already are using the methodology in the company I work for. So the story clicked quite well with me.
However, if you feel you want to read it faster ( even though it's a short book) you probably can start around page 70 and you should be able to get the essence of the method and why it is effective.

I would recommend that you read the whole book. I do think the method is applicable also outside the bus
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Kristina
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book is an oxymoron. The title is intriguing but the 150 pages could have been one A4 instead. I’m a big fan of OKR system, but the book is written for either very low intelligence or for someone who has a lot of downtime. Skip the first 100 pages and read titles from then onwards. There are better resources on web.
Willian Molinari
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
This one is hard to rate. I'm not sure if I liked it or not, and it's probably related to the structure of the book.

It starts as a non-fiction/business book, as I expected it to be, but out of nowhere, it became "a novel" (big quotes here). This "novel" part was not too bad, I liked it in the end, but it was totally unexpected. I really like "The Phoenix project" which follows the same idea of narrative, but the whole book was created with that goal in mind.

When we get this structure out of the
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wanderonwards
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this book because of work, and I went into it with no expectations other than I was ready to learn something new that I could apply to my job. I was excited at the idea that the author would be explaining the key concepts in the form of a fable, but the idea fell utterly short for me.

In all, Radical Focus, is an average book that contains great information and concepts, but spends time on the wrong topics. I still feel the fable was a great idea, but the author executed it poorly. Instead
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Travis
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first half is written as a story so easy to understand and the second half is the actual how to implement it.

What I like about this is that i think we all have a great heart, we all want to see many things happen. We want big big results. But we get distracted on the way and other things seem really cool or really great to try and do. Then we don’t really get anything done. So the idea of FOCUS is a great idea. We want to focus on a specific area for a specific time. Then we have momentum go
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Vivify M
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
OKRs didn't seem complex enough to warrant an entire book dedicated to the topic. But as with most things, the more I've discovered about them, the more questions I have.
I was hoping that this book would be able to answer all my questions, and one's that I do not yet have. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. It certainly answered many questions, but only at the end of the book.
The fictional story, which takes up most of the book didn't add much for me, and only the later part was interes
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Ryan Frantz
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it
To my mind, OKRs are the latest incarnation of clear planning. They are very much synonymous with goals and milestones in that they define a desired outcome and statements that should help measure progress toward those outcomes. In other words, there's nothing new under the sun. However, the parable of the startup struggling to focus their collective efforts is a nice way to introduce an otherwise dry topic; very few folks get excited about planning. And to that point, what makes goal setting an ...more
Giedrius
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great small book introducing to the concept of OKR. It does not go too deep into explaining how to set up and monitor OKRs, however, a book is perfect to understand the main idea behind it. Book consists of entertaining fable ( a story about fictional startup) and more formal part explaining basic concepts.

I've read it when we already were using OKR for some time in our company so there were not so many new things but confidence levels were something new and we successfully adopted tha
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Lucy Chen
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. From the title, I was expecting an engaging, but typical, self-help book, a la "Power of Habit" or "10 Habits of Highly Successful People". However, I was pleasantly surprised to dive into the world of BeeTea, a high-end tea startup struggling to gain their footing in a constantly shifting food scene. The story illustrated the benefits and drawbacks of setting goals for oneself, as well as the dedication to process required to enforce accom ...more
Garrett
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The beginning of the book starts as an anecdote, and while it was difficult to follow at first, Christina eventually brought it all together. After getting through it and reading more about the approach to OKR's, it made a lot more sense. Given the departure from a normal approach to a book like this, I feel like it could have used a little framing to prepare readers for the approach.

Regardless, it definitely helped put things in perspective and gave our team a better framework for making decisi
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Lance Willett
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyable read that combines practical tips and a narrative-style case study to illustrate how a company would put OKRs into practice.

My primary highlight is this one. How to achieve important goals with OKRS?

> One: set inspiring and measurable goals. Two: make sure you and your team are always making progress toward that desired end state. No matter how many other things are on your plate. And three: set a cadence that makes sure the group both remembers what they are trying to accomplish an
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MindOverMatter
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
The book starts from a not very exciting place. The story with the tea selling company is very boring, but it builds up and in the end it all makes sense. Still, I do think that all the blabber around coffee stains on desks and how they chose the furniture and that they went to Stanford and the like makes them really unsympathetic and that makes the reading hard. I don't really see the point of all that distracting information. It does not help explain the OKR framework.

OKR itself is very inter
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John Radko
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, leadership
I enjoyed this book, which was a business book as novel to explain the OKR system pioneered at Intel, and used by Google and many other companies. The story is a good introduction to the concept, and is actually an interesting story of a couple of people who set out to change the world by offering high quality tea.

I like the way the story showcases the challenge of staying focused on an outcome even when you write it down, and I could empathize with the people who wanted to pursue good things th
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Anh Hoang
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: management
I follow Wodtke channel on Youtube and see some courses that she takes to some universities which are quite interesting. This book is designed for people who want to understand the OKR method in detailed. She provides a lot of examples for readers to understand what is OKRs and how we can run OKRs in a firm context. It's simple method so everyone can remember but it's not easy to implement.
One disadvantage of this book from my point of view is not practical. This book is not a step-by-step book
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Christina Wodtke trains companies to move from insight to execution as principal of her firm, Wodtke Consulting, and teaches the next generation of entrepreneurs at California College of the Arts and Stanford Continuing Education.

Christina has led redesigns and initial product offerings for such companies as LinkedIn, Myspace, Zynga, Yahoo!, Hot Studio, and eGreetings. She has founded two consulti
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“It’s not important to protect an idea. It’s important to protect the time it takes to make it real. You” 2 likes
“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what you need done and let them surprise you” 2 likes
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