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Book Review: ‘Xbox Revisited’ by Robbie Bach

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New book by Xbox project leader details successful business strategies

New book by Xbox project leader details successful business strategies

Robbie Bach, author of a new book, Xbox Revisited a Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal, enlightens readers to the many lessons he learned from working in various leadership roles with Microsoft and the Xbox project. And, he offers several strategies he used for an effective framework for change.

He writes, “I reflected on the lasting value of my experiences as a leader at Microsoft, the transformative nature of my deep involvement with organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, and my belief in the power of sports to transcend differences. When all of the evaluating was done, I found myself focusing on areas where I had real value to add-strategic thinking, organizational management, and driving change to address complex problems.”

The Power of 3s and 5s

Bach developed two strategies that he defines in his book. The first is the 3P Framework, Purpose, Principles, and Priorities. The Rule of 5s is the second, which states any list of items to get done must end with the fifth item.

The power of 3s have been used in speech writing and other types of business writing. Bach’s power of 3s takes a different approach by giving it more depth. There is also a 3/30/300 plan where Bach advises to put the overall strategy on three pages.

Then turn that into a 30 page document breaking down the strategy into components for each team involved. Finally, the entire project gets reported through a 300 page document that lays out the specifics.

About Xbox Revisited

This book has two stories within its pages. The first is the author’s professional journey and the second is his personal journey leading to his desire to become a civic engineer. Bach intertwines his stories with the details of Microsoft’s Xbox project. In the end, he’s developed a number of leadership strategies that he wants to share with readers.

He writes, “My decision to leave Microsoft in 2010, however, was not a retirement. It was a self-imposed period of reflection, a time to step back from the frenetic pace of my professional and personal lives to think deeply about how I wanted to have impact going forward.”

Recommendations for Xbox Revisited

This is a great read for a number of reasons. First it’s a story about walking away from what many would consider to be the perfect career. Secondly, because Bach shows readers how to use many of the strategies he used to make the Xbox story a great one.

Bach uses his last chapters to detail what he considers to be today’s great challenges we face today in the U.S. and the world. The final story readers will find is how Bach encourages readers to get involved.

He writes about civic engineering, “Rather than requiring years of study, advanced diplomas, and a certain love for geekdom, civic engineering is the most democratic of clubs, requiring only that we live up to our duties as citizens and apply our common sense.”

His return to common sense includes getting educated, getting vocal, and getting involved by picking a cause, a policy issue, and a candidate. And, he encourages readers to vote.

Of course, there is also a story that centers on the Xbox that many readers will find entertaining. There’s plenty to read about when it come to some of the behind the scenes surrounding this world changing technology. A technology that continues to evolve and in some aspect contributing to its own version of civic engineering.
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