Radical Focus - A book review

Focus, just focus. That is the main message in the book Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke. I've read a few OKR (objective w/ key results) books and this one is by far the best IMO. I appreciated the fable story in the beginning (the first 2/3 of the book). It provided a good example of how messy startups can be, how OKR can help them, and how you won't be getting it right the first time. It may take some big changes to your organization, but the benefits are really helpful. 

The nuts and bolts of OKRs are this; people get distracted from why they are doing things and they can get off track... sometimes waaaay off track. That is okay, we are all humans. Let us be honest, the internet is the digital version of Vegas. Squirrel! The methods outlined in the last third of the book are pretty cut and dry which is exactly what I've been looking for. 

Setting Up OKRs

I like how they suggested working on configuring each level of the OKRs. All the pitfalls, and what to do to correct them. I truly think that if a company/team/individual is thinking about trying this they should just do it in full. That being said, they reiterated many times in this book that it will never be perfect and it will be weird the first time. Try it, learn, and repeat. Anyway, key takeaways for me are the following: ask your teammates what you think the OKRs should be to get input, review the input, aggregate what you think as PM, provide that to C suite, C suite reviews and as a leadership group you come up with OKRs. Once company OKRs are set, then provide that to the teams to build out your team OKR that bubble up to that.

Weekly Check-ins are Critical to Focus

The weekly setup of OKRs are pretty simple; you meet on Monday and go over the 4 quadrants: How is everyone feeling about the KRs (rank out of 10), are the things we want to keep healthy still healthy, what are we doing this week toward the OKRs, and finally what is coming up in the next month.

On Friday, we celebrate

I really liked this bit. Every Friday you get together and demo what was accomplished. Don't talk about next week, just discuss what you accomplished.

I'm Trying it Out

So I felt like I needed to try this out for myself. We are doing something like this at work, but I wanted to try the vanilla version. So I'm starting a new workout schedule and using OKRs as my way to hit the goal. I have a meeting with my family every Sunday to review, and every Saturday we celebrate. I've created my 4 quadrant configuration, see below.


If you are looking for a new way to plan, read this. 10/10 (I don't rate many books 10)


PS: The links out to Amazon are through Amazon Associates. It's a program to give kick back to people that refer to a sale. It doesn't cost you any more and I may make a small portion of your purchase.

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