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


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

That sounds loads like a enterprise proprietor, yeah?

When entrepreneurs are first beginning their small companies, I wager most aren’t pondering 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 enterprise grows. You get to name all of the photographs. (Yay!) In the event that they work, you’ve got earned the glory. (Woohoo!) If they do not, you will danger feeling like a failure. (Gulp.)

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

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

There are a lot of methods to develop your decision-making savvy. Expertise alone within the wild enterprise world is an effective trainer. Expertise-based studying, nonetheless, can usually be reactionary. If you happen to 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 will doubtless obtain a dizzying array of responses. Technique is difficult to pin down in discrete phrases as a result of (generally) it encompasses a composite of inputs: values, imaginative and prescient, market circumstances, aggressive benefits, mental property, obtainable sources, meant consequence(s), and so forth.

A framework will help to prepare such a fluid idea into targeted and actionable phrases that lend course to your determination making. Mentioned otherwise: a framework is what small companies house owners such as you, me, Pat, and others must harness our concepts into actions.

Here is one textbook definition of a strategic framework: “a plan of motion or coverage designed to attain a serious or general intention.”

The “plan” a part of that definition is essential. Making use of a framework produces the plan. With no framework, you do not have a plan; as an alternative, you may have—at greatest—a set of loosely linked actions into which you are investing time, vitality, {dollars}, and different sources. These actions will hopefully, possibly produce fascinating outcomes and, thus, are possibly (however not essentially) strategic in nature.

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

Frameworks range. Some are surgical in goal, 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 method, like Goal, Objectives, Methods, and Metrics (OGSM).

There isn’t 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 device normally issues way over the device itself and/or together with different instruments.

I consider in the usage of a number of complementary strategic frameworks. If you happen to’re a nerd like me, assume Voltron. The collective is extra highly effective than any particular person element. That mentioned, 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 thought of technique growth. It taught me methods to not solely nurture strategic concepts however slightly, and much 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) by way of deliberate actions (i.e., targeted 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 could 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 group throughout our annual strategic planning summit. The truth is, 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 large
  • May 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 a minimum of one aim per goal; can have a number of targets
  • Objectives are delegated to others in keeping with 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 ways and duties

Metrics (aka Measures)

  • Knowledge factors to gather, analyze, and assessment alongside the best way to successfully govern the work
  • Over time, the analyzed metrics ought to produce tendencies that recommend constructive progress
  • Monitoring too many metrics is counterproductive; focus on the important few KPIs

This framework offers a high-fidelity approach of organizing your determination making on the strategy-level primarily based upon the targets you are aiming for to attain an goal. When determination making is refined on this approach, it reduces the waste of treasured sources (e.g. time, cash, vitality) and elevates the chance of success. Success, nonetheless, shouldn’t be assured.

Warning: Strategic Frameworks Do Not Assure Success

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

As a substitute, 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 doubtless the primary few occasions.

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 important pondering and decision-making talents. Using the device builds and strengthens the muscle. At first, you may be weak. If you happen to stay dedicated to the work, you’ll grow to be robust. And from energy comes success.

Methods to Apply the OGSM Framework in Your Small Enterprise

Begin small. Begin gradual. Revisit ceaselessly. That is the perfect, most distilled and efficient solution to start making use of this framework, or another, to your small enterprise.

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

  1. Outline your targets.
  2. Unify these targets into an overarching goal.
  3. Brainstorm all the attainable methods you can select to put money into which will provide help to obtain these targets and, thus, the target.
  4. Checklist out your key operational constraints together with time/bandwidth to do work, financial budgets, availability of different varieties of sources, relationships which will assist, and so forth.
  5. Whittle down your methods listing to the important few that you simply consider will generate the outcomes it’s essential accomplish your targets which you can make work inside your declared constraints
  6. Choose a shortlist of metrics (1-3) that you’re going to observe over time as alerts of your progress towards reaching your targets and goal.

Why You Ought to Begin with Objectives

There are two principal causes to begin with targets:

  1. In my expertise, only a few entrepreneurs really know what their targets are. Oh, I am certain most assume they know. However after I speak to small enterprise house owners, advise startup founders and CEOs, and customarily 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 controversial why you need to trouble growing an organized plan of strategic actions.
  2. Objectives are an excellent “stage one rocket booster” for technique growth. Partaking at this degree of the mannequin first normally goes sooner with much less friction as in comparison with beginning elsewhere inside the mannequin. That constructive momentum is the “booster” wanted to propel additional good work elsewhere inside the mannequin.

If you happen to’re new to organizing your decision-making on this approach, then destress your work additional by narrowing the timespan of your strategic plan to only three or six months. There isn’t 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. Be taught 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 energy and confidence with this caliber of strategic decision-making that you simply really feel able to tackle a six-month strategic plan.

It is simple to get misplaced within the bushes and overlook to see the forest while you have interaction in intentional technique growth. So pull again sometimes and revisit why you are doing this work within the first place: to make smarter choices that truly result in the outcomes you need on your small enterprise whereas smoothing out the trip.

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

To study extra about constructing your enterprise, learn my information, The SPI Newbie’s Information to Enterprise Fundamentals.

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