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Get Up and Get Going with OGSM for Business

In the daily grind, it’s hard to keep the big picture in mind. What is your day-to-day work really accomplishing?

Do you ever feel like you have mounted a stationary bike and are pedaling away with all your might, sweat dripping, heart pumping only to find out at the end of the day that you are in the same exact spot where you started? Sure, you may be working hard. But the hard work isn’t taking you anywhere. In order to see your business actually get up and get going in the direction of success, you need defined objectives, goals, strategies, and measures described by the OGSM planning process.

The OGSM planning process has been in use in the United States since the 1950’s. Its effectiveness has proven itself in such large companies as Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, and Honda. But businesses of any size will find the method useful for defining what success looks like and how to get there.

Here is a brief overview of the four parts of the OGSM planning model:

Objectives: Stephen Covey tells us to “begin with the end in mind.” The objectives are the description of the end. It’s the overall mission or vision of what you want your company to look like. Make it unique so that it’s yours. Don’t get caught up in thorough and clever wording. Keep the objectives simple and catchy so that all employees can describe them in a meaningful way. Could someone understand the objectives even if they did not work for you? The objectives are your artist’s tools for painting a picture of what your company will look like in the future.

Goals: Goals are specific, measurable steps that your business will need in order to achieve the objectives. When creating these, make sure you get the input of everyone in the company not just the partners or leadership team. Each employee’s role is unique and lends a unique perspective to the goals. Plus, employees that are valued in the planning process are motivated to work towards the goals.

Strategies: What choices will you make to achieve your objectives and goals? What programs and initiatives will need to take place? Again, use everyone’s input. Keep your planning horizon in mind when creating strategies. How long will the initiatives take place? One year? Five years?

Measures: How will you measure your progress towards the goals and objectives? Display these measures in prominent places where everyone can see them. Celebrate when the company is moving in a positive direction.

If you feel overwhelmed by the OGSM model, remember you don’t need to have it all figured out at once.


The planning process is just as valuable as the finished product. Take it one step at a time. Use your team to work together on these items. If you are in need of someone to come alongside you to guide you through the OGSM process, I would be pleased to be a part of your planning. It is my greatest thrill to see businesses get off the stationary bike and move forward towards success.

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