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

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,543 ratings  ·  375 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
Kindle Edition, 154 pages
Published February 7th 2016 (first published February 2016)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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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.
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...
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
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.
Simon Eskildsen
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Quick fiction-business read (like The Goal, or Five Dysfunctions) on running simpler projects, with some variant of OKRs. I've read Measure What Matters on OKRs before, which in retrospect needs to be more humble in its approach, which Radical Focus is. I read this book because I wanted to see if it would be a good, digestible book to recommend budding tech leads. For that purpose, it's recommended. It frames what good goals look like, and the importance of a weekly drumbeat to hold each other a ...more
Gerard Chiva
Nov 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
A novel with some good advice about OKRs. But, still a novel.

The essence of the boom could be written in 5 pages and save me a few hours of my time.

If I want to read a novel I read a novel, not a business book.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
A lot of common sense riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. The book could be condensed 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 fi
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
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. ...more
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.
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
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.
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.
Sebastian Castillo
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Short and nice reading... starts as a fiction nicely done story with a classic startup conflict and focus problem. Then introduces in an elegant, succinct yet insightful manner the OKR concept with practical advice and tools for you.

It’s the kind of book you read and then you go and implement a change in your company.
Regimantas Urbanas
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
A great intro guide to the OKRs framework, but nothing ground-breaking if you've been working with them for some years. I found that story of the struggling organic tea start-up to be slightly too elaborate, yet it could be perfect and relatable for any SMB owner.

The best of this book actually starts by the end of it, at approx 80% progress mark. So, do not get discouraged by that extensive story in the beginning of the book ;) most practical tips comes after.
Viktor Lototskyi
Apr 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Short and actionable book on the subject.
As usually with author books, the first half is a fictional story around company, the second half is theory.
Yaniv Preiss
May 08, 2022 rated it really liked it
Very good theoretical and practical explanations.
More examples of good and bad OKRs would be really helpful, especially of things that are hard to measure.
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.
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book is a fable of an early stage startup and the author uses the story to show the importance of focus and introduced the OKR framework that will help with focus. Really excited about trying out the framework.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A page turner and a very useful one.
Rafael Mueller
Amazing book, it's like 'ORK from the trenches" ...more
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Serves its purpose by giving one a flavor of how OKRs are be applied in practice via a pat narrative.
I.e., Radical Focus : OKRs :: The Phoenix Project : DevOps
Good for giving folks adopting this technique a quick, easily digestible tour. Of course everything is impossibly tidy, but that's to be expected in such a book.

The one strong opinion I have about Radical Focus is that its portrayal of engineers as spoiled, petulant children was cartoonish and counter-productive. I don't mind some stere
May 01, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To borrow phrasing from my Dad, this book is absolutely... mediocre.

What's the point? To present a methodology for achieving goals called Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

Did the book do so? Yes. Was there a ton of superfluous and redundant information? Oh yeah. Lots of typos and questionable grammar too.

All in all, there is good information presented in this book. As a software engineer that is aware of OKRs but has never experienced them in practice, I'm left with increased curiosity to seek
Brendon Wilson
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good way to start the New Year!

Christina foregoes the usual padding common in most business books and delivers a concise, compelling argument for the use of OKRs in business and in life. A quick, enjoyable read for anyone seeking a better way to set and track their project’s progress.

I have only two complaints: 1) I’d like to see more examples of well-stipulated Objectives and Key Results to complement the instructional text (or possibly a set of self-guided exercises with questions to ask on
Hiran Venugopalan
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you Felt the book Measure What Matters and it's example complicated, try reading Radical Focus. The example is contextual, simple, and provide more clarity on how OKR works. ...more
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Easy read with pracical way to apply. This is the second book about the OKR i read (first one is Measure what matter). Even the first one is aso very good 5star read, it will be a little bit difficult to apply for the beginners. This book is a kind of telling story and guide ppl how to use OKR in a simpler form. Hence, it’s very suitable for beginner and can apply immediately. This book can be read easily by everyone from the executive to manager, from product to finance or marketing, etc.
Niklas Heer
Mar 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
This book packs a lot of knowledge about the Objective and Key Result (OKR) system into a short book.
I liked that it started with a captivating story about a young startup.
The last third of the books are filled with useful tips to use OKRs.
I recommend this book to everyone interested in OKRs and all leaders.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Definitely worth a read!

“Why do we fail to meet our goals?”

This book acknowledges the one thing we all know but some find difficult to admit: that we fail to meet our goals. Then proceeds to explain how to move from there to achieving them
Nick Sopchak
Jan 11, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5 - engaging, easy to read, communicates big ideas simply and provides a roadmap to implement.
Dominykas Punis
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
True OKRs 101 - great exemplary case and clear instructions on how to approach such seemingly simple concept of OKRs.
Cristian Soto
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I've read a review that said that the first 2/3 of the book can be totally avoided and you can easily go directly to 'part 3' where the stories end. I always try to give the author an opportunity but with some expectations because of the review. It happens to be true. Let's give credit to the author, she tried to build a good story in order to grasp the main points of the book in a different way but it felt too forced. When the stories ended the book improved a 100%. It's like this is her natura ...more
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An established thought leader in Silicon Valley, Christina is a “curious human” with a serious resume. Her past work includes re-design and initial product offerings with LinkedIn, MySpace, Zynga, Yahoo! and others, as well as founding three startups, an online design magazine called Boxes and Arrows, and co-founding the Information Architecture Institute. She is currently a Lecturer at Stanford i ...more

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