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Agile Decision-Making for Business Impact

The top role at an organization may sometimes seem lonely. If the company does not have an active board of directors, the CEO / founder may sit by themselves trying to make decisions and guiding the team towards some arbitrary goals. Finding consensus around objectives and buy-in from the rest of the organization’s leaders is key for management to impact the company’s direction.

Having a board allows the CEO to break free from the day-to-day urgencies of the business and helps them pause to reflect on ideal strategic initiatives. A productive board will assist the CEO in thinking through alternatives based on prior experiences and third-party views.

It is also key for leaders to define metrics and KPIs that help monitor progress towards those high-level goals. Ultimately, the CEO subordinates themselves to a strategic plan and seeks to execute it. These KPIs will inform the management team if they are being successful or when they need to correct course.

OKRs is a methodology initially developed at Google for Objectives and Key Results. This framework pushes teams to define quarterly goals and the key results that will demonstrate progress toward those goals. Regardless of the methodology a team may use to define and track progress, it is of utmost relevance to adopt a disciplined approach to periodically defining the business outcome leadership seeks, the timeframe in which the company wants to experience that outcome, and the metrics that will inform progress.

The periodicity of decision-making is, at the same time, very relevant. For example, if you force yourself to make one decision per year as a CEO, you better nail that one annual decision because you can only revise it in 12 months. Similarly, if you make monthly decisions, you will have 12 opportunities to steer the ship in the right direction. Weekly decisions push this periodicity to ~50 moments per year. You get the gist.

To have the impact you are looking for as a leader, it is ideal to define goals and metrics for the right organizational level at the company, with appropriate periodic revisions. These daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly iterations will bring an agile mentality into the business that will help increase service-market fit and the company’s overall enterprise value.

At Alten Capital we invest in technology services businesses. Please reach out to us to explore a partnership.