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

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,858 ratings  ·  314 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 1st 2016)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,858 ratings  ·  314 reviews

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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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Feb 03, 2021 rated it did not like it
Widely used and known model that can be summarised in 2pages. You don’t need to write a 200 page novel about it.
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
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never thought I’d give a business book 5 stars. I don’t even usually rate business books. This one was different though; highly recommend it to everyone looking to get their OKR game right.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Objectives and key results in a nutshell

Insighful for OKR beginners (OKR = framework called objectives and key results used as a way to bring focus and alignment in the company while reaching for moonshots that bring value to the customers). The storyline was not that complex, in the and it is not a novel, but the second part I liked a lot. The author tackles different angles: start-up, MVP, reporting line and it succeeds in achieving clarity and inspiration for using the framework. Another part
Rick te Molder
Great book on OKRs. First half in novel form, second half pure non-fiction. The novel may not win the next Nobel prize in literature, but the narrative adds to the understanding of when and why OKRs are important. No dry summing up of these reasons could bring that message across the way Wodtke did it. The second part provides practical tips about how to apply OKRs.
Why five stars? I found myself actually thinking differently after reading this book, making better decisions, and executing with m
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
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love books written as fables instead of the same old business books expounding a single idea through reams of pages. The author does a great job of making the OKR system relatable and practical through the book. Definitely worth reading if your company is doing OKRs
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
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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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