How to Make Better Decisions When You Call the Shots – Smart Passive Income

How to make better decisions.

A former president of the US as soon as famously described himself because the “Decider in Chief.” On one stage, that is comical. On one other stage, it is instructive, and succinctly so. The one who possesses essentially the most decision-making energy is the one who might be judged for the success or failure of these selections. Finish of story.

That sounds so much like a enterprise proprietor, yeah?

When entrepreneurs are first beginning their small companies, I wager most aren’t considering of themselves as a “Decider in Chief.” However from day one, they’re. That is the superior and terrifying actuality of working for your self, a actuality that solely will get extra rollercoaster-like as your small business grows. You get to name all of the pictures. (Yay!) In the event that they work, you’ve got earned the glory. (Woohoo!) If they do not, you will threat feeling like a failure. (Gulp.)

The way you expertise that rollercoaster-like entrepreneurial journey is immediately influenced by the standard of your resolution making. I truly consider them as one and the identical factor: so goes your resolution making, so goes your small enterprise. Full cease.

In search of the least turbulent journey potential as a small enterprise proprietor? Then work in your decision-making abilities. The extra clever your selections, the smoother your journey might be. That is to not say selections are simple; oftentimes, selections are fairly arduous. However assuming you make sensible selections no matter their problem, the tracks these selections lay forward of you’ll present for a smoother and extra profitable journey.

There are lots of methods to develop your decision-making savvy. Expertise alone within the wild enterprise world is an effective instructor. Expertise-based studying, nonetheless, can typically be reactionary. In the event you care to enhance expertise with a proactive counterpart, then make investments some brainpower into studying and utilizing a strategic framework

What Is a Strategic Framework?

Ask somebody, “What’s technique?” and you may seemingly obtain a dizzying array of responses. Technique is difficult to pin down in discrete phrases as a result of (normally) it encompasses a composite of inputs: values, imaginative and prescient, market situations, aggressive benefits, mental property, out there sources, meant final result(s), and so forth.

A framework might help to prepare such a fluid idea into centered and actionable phrases that lend course to your resolution making. Stated in a different way: a framework is what small companies homeowners such as you, me, Pat, and others must harness our concepts into actions.

This is one textbook definition of a strategic framework: “a plan of motion or coverage designed to attain a significant or general purpose.”

The “plan” a part of that definition is essential. Making use of a framework produces the plan. And not using a framework, you do not have a plan; as an alternative, you’ve got—at greatest—a set of loosely linked actions into which you are investing time, power, {dollars}, and different sources. These actions will hopefully, perhaps produce fascinating outcomes and, thus, are perhaps (however not essentially) strategic in nature.

If that wishy-washy existence makes you squeamish, then you definately’d do effectively to undertake a strategic framework.

Frameworks fluctuate. Some are surgical in objective, like a SWOT evaluation. Others are extra mindset-oriented, like Blue Ocean. Some are constructed bottom-up inside a company to allow unified efficiency, like Goal and Key Outcomes (OKRs). Others try to allow unified efficiency from a top-down strategy, like Goal, Targets, Methods, and Metrics (OGSM).

There is no such thing as a one proper framework versus one other. Frameworks are instruments (a theme I am going to return to later on this article). The way you wield a instrument often issues way over the instrument itself and/or together with different instruments.

I consider in using a number of complementary strategic frameworks. In the event you’re a nerd like me, assume Voltron. The collective is extra highly effective than any particular person element. That stated, I additionally consider in having a central strategic framework that anchors considerate decision-making on the enterprise/enterprise-level. It is the purpose of origin of all of our intentional actions.

For us at SPI Media, that is the OGSM framework.

I used to be first uncovered to the OGSM framework in my post-graduate management growth program at Johnson & Johnson. This framework revolutionized how I considered technique growth. It taught me learn how to not solely nurture strategic concepts however relatively, and way more importantly, develop strategic plans that join imaginative and prescient (i.e., uncooked concepts changed into directional goals) with outcomes (i.e., outcomes described as targets) via deliberate actions (i.e., centered methods).

The OGSM framework comes from the company world and is not as shiny as different choices, like OKRs. That is simply fantastic with me as a result of no matter it might lack in shininess it makes up for in substance.

Parts of the OGSM Framework

I reeducate and reemphasize the OGSM framework yearly with my SPI Media workforce throughout our annual strategic planning summit. In reality, the slide above comes courtesy of my strategic planning presentation deck. It summarizes the 4 key parts of the mannequin:


  • A vision-based course that goals to attain one thing huge
  • Could be quantitative in nature, additional quantified by its targets
  • Should empower the corporate’s imaginative and prescient and mission statements in addition to its core values


  • Quantifiable outcomes that show the target was achieved
  • Will need to have no less than one objective per goal; can have a number of targets
  • Targets are delegated to others per their roles and obligations


  • Prioritized work to serve within the pursuit of reaching the targets to which it’s related
  • Generally is a mixture of tasks (one-time efforts) and/or practices (ongoing work)
  • Declared methods shouldn’t be confused for techniques and duties

Metrics (aka Measures)

  • Knowledge factors to gather, analyze, and assessment alongside the way in which to successfully govern the work
  • Over time, the analyzed metrics ought to produce developments that counsel optimistic progress
  • Monitoring too many metrics is counterproductive; focus on the vital few KPIs

This framework gives a high-fidelity manner of organizing your resolution making on the strategy-level based mostly upon the targets you are aiming for to attain an goal. When resolution making is refined on this manner, it reduces the waste of treasured sources (e.g. time, cash, power) and elevates the chance of success. Success, nonetheless, is just not assured.

Warning: Strategic Frameworks Do Not Assure Success

Strategic frameworks—all of them—are instruments, nothing extra. Like some other instrument, success comes not from its innate qualities however how it’s used. So do not make the error of believing that the short adoption of a strategic framework will make all of your goals come true.

As an alternative, proceed with cautious optimism. Utilizing a strategic framework will really feel bizarre at first. That is pure, so do not cease on the awkward feeling. Additionally do not cease utilizing it when it fails to ship upon your targets and goals, as a result of—frankly—that is seemingly the primary few instances.

The not-so-secret secret to deriving worth from a strategic framework is to make use of the framework repetitively. It is muscle growth, plain and easy, with the “muscle” on this context being your strategic mind—your vital considering and decision-making skills. Using the instrument builds and strengthens the muscle. At first, you’ll be weak. In the event you stay dedicated to the work, you’ll change into robust. And from power comes success.

Tips on how to Apply the OGSM Framework in Your Small Enterprise

Begin small. Begin sluggish. Revisit steadily. That is one of the best, most distilled and efficient technique to start making use of this framework, or some other, to your small enterprise.

Particularly for the OGSM framework, I counsel entrepreneurs to contemplate the next strategy:

  1. Outline your targets.
  2. Unify these targets into an overarching goal.
  3. Brainstorm all the potential methods you possibly can select to put money into that will aid you obtain these targets and, thus, the target.
  4. Record out your key operational constraints together with time/bandwidth to do work, financial budgets, availability of different sorts of sources, relationships that will assist, and so forth.
  5. Whittle down your methods record to the vital few that you just consider will generate the outcomes you’ll want to accomplish your targets which you can make work inside your declared constraints
  6. Choose a shortlist of metrics (1-3) that you will monitor over time as alerts of your progress towards reaching your targets and goal.

Why You Ought to Begin with Targets

There are two predominant causes to begin with targets:

  1. In my expertise, only a few entrepreneurs truly know what their targets are. Oh, I am positive most assume they know. However once I discuss to small enterprise homeowners, advise startup founders and CEOs, and usually take part on this spectrum of dialog in entrepreneurial communities, I am reminded simply how uncommon it’s that somebody has credibly outlined targets in quantitative, rational, and achievable phrases. If such high-quality targets do not exist, then it is debatable why you need to hassle creating an organized plan of strategic actions.
  2. Targets are a great “stage one rocket booster” for technique growth. Partaking at this stage of the mannequin first often goes quicker with much less friction as in comparison with beginning elsewhere inside the mannequin. That optimistic momentum is the “booster” wanted to propel additional good work elsewhere inside the mannequin.

In the event you’re new to organizing your decision-making on this manner, then destress your work additional by narrowing the timespan of your strategic plan to simply three or six months. There is no such thing as a rule that claims you will need to develop a twelve-month annual plan on the primary go.

Begin Small with Your Chosen Strategic Framework

Keep in mind: success with any strategic framework comes with repetition. So think about constructing one for the subsequent three months, then execute towards that plan, then analyze and consider the outcomes. Study from that have and apply these learnings into the subsequent three-month strategic plan. And so forth and so forth till you’ve got developed sufficient new power and confidence with this caliber of strategic decision-making that you just really feel able to tackle a six-month strategic plan.

It is easy to get misplaced within the bushes and overlook to see the forest once you interact in intentional technique growth. So pull again sometimes and revisit why you are doing this work within the first place: to make smarter selections that truly result in the outcomes you need in your small enterprise whereas smoothing out the journey.

If the method and/or outcomes aren’t to your liking, then chuck the plan you’ve got and begin over. You might be your personal Decider in Chief, in spite of everything. Embrace the heck out of that superior and terrifying energy, and you will be a-okay.

To be taught extra about constructing your small business, learn my information, The SPI Newbie’s Information to Enterprise Fundamentals.

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