Radical Focus

The radical new approach to OKRs

Radical Focus

It was around August in the MOO office and one of the product managers was carrying a large box to his desk with a big grin. Inside the box there were approximately 30 copies of the book, "Radical Focus".

Assuming this was some corny self help book I didn't take any further notice of it, until I seen them spreading across the whole office like wildfire. Product managers, UX designers and even developers had copies on their desks. Naturally my curiosity piqued but I had missed the boat. It wasn't until Christmas time that I managed to grab a copy from one of my colleagues.

After the first few pages I was hooked, there aren't many pages to the book but it was worth taking my time to fully appreciate it. The book starts out with story (semi-fictional), of a struggling Tea Startup in the valley. The startup is failing due to ambitious goals with no clear roadmap of steps to reach them.

Naturally they start slipping up and are on the road to peril.  After some guidance from their investor into goal settings through OKRs, they are able to turn their business around. Of course the story mentions other contributing factors to their turn-around but the take away is that setting short term wins and longer term goals with a view to frequent reviews, is a contributor to success.

After the story has finished, you are left with the last third of the book which goes into detail about setting OKRs for yourself, a team or a whole business. These guidelines would make a whole lot of sense to me when I came back from the Christmas break, as our team was about to adopt this format.

The funny thing about this book though was after completing it my 89 year old grandpa (pictured) decided to take an interest in the book. His exposure to the tech world is non-existant but his business experience meant he could relate to the story and by the end of the book he could grasp the concept of OKRs. Being a joiner he could tell me how he planned his building projects and made sure they were done well.

In summary I will leave this cliche, "don't judge a book by its cover!"