How to Start Making Better Strategic Decisions with Your Team

TL’DR

In a week, an average manager makes more than 70,000 decisions. Poor decisions, whether every day or strategic in nature, can cause irreversible damage to an organisation. Behavioural Economics and Management Sciences points to two major hurdles that negatively impact decision-making.

  1. Cognitive Biases
  2. Lack of Systematic Process for Decision-making

Cognitive biases are an evolutionary tool designed to aid us to navigate our everyday lives but left unchecked they can lead us to poor judgement. Being aware of the most common biases that affect decision making is the first step for individual executives, but for teams, it’s essential to use a well-defined process for quality decision-making.

Beyond the individual executives and senior management, scaling decision-making best practices to the whole organisation requires more than a checklist. Adhering to tried and tested principles can help you elevate the quality of decision-making throughout your organisation.

I’ve explored these topics in detail in the keynote below. You can go through the complete deck or jump straight to the part you’re most interested in using the Quick Links on the second slide.

I recommend viewing the presentation (Below) in the Presentation Mode (Fullscreen) for an optimal experience.

Download the presentation as PDF.

Essentials of Data Science for Marketers

For marketers, the last decade was all about building websites, cracking SEO, deciphering JavaScript and keeping up with the ever-changing algorithms behind a plethora of social media platforms.

While some leaned into this change others were dragged in kicking and screaming. Regardless of which side you were on, as our lives become increasingly digital, marketing has also evolved to keep pace.

The last ten years gave us SEO’s, Inbound Marketers, CRO Experts, Growth Hackers and Instagram models.

Just as marketing was transformed over the last decade; at the start of a new decade, we’re going through another transformation.

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What Happens when Your Values and Metrics are Misaligned?

Strategy statements are meant to be inspirational and ooze ambition. Perhaps that’s why mission, vision and strategy statements are often a little ambiguous.

Apple – Think different.

Samsung – Create the future.

Bayer – Science for a better life.

A good mission statement is a powerful marketing tool, on the one hand, it communicates your brand’s position and differentiation and on the other, it’s a source of inspiration for your customers and employees.

While powerful and effective at telling people where the organisation is headed they don’t say much about how that ambition is realised.

That’s where metrics come in.

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Choosing the Best Metrics for Your OKRs

Setting an ambitious goal is never enough. In reality despite all the grand presentations most businesses never reach their strategic objectives.

You might feel inclined to look for a weak link among your managers or your team but the real culprit is a lot more devious. Believe it or not what’s really keeping you from working on your most important work is your most urgent work.

And why shouldn’t it. Striking things off your to-do list is whole lot quicker than waiting for months or years to see your strategy come to fruition.

How you keep track and measure your urgent and important work matters. In this article I will share a story about how poor metrics can keep you reaching your goals despite your best effort and what you can do to avoid it.

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Stop Wasting Time Being Productive. Become Effective Instead

This is a story of a chance conversation with a client and a TED Talk that lead me to discover the Eisenhower Matrix. I’ve been using it for over a year and it’s been the most effective tool for getting my most important work done.

This article also includes a link to my worksheet based on the Eisenhower Matrix.

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Why Your Team Gave Up on Your Strategy Long Ago

Chances are that your company, like many others, start each year with inspiring strategy presentations and ambitious plans. Teams are reshuffled, new roles are created and people are rallied to focus on a new strategy.

It’s just as likely that despite every good intention and excitement, deadlines are missed, plans are forgotten, people are disappointed and by the end of first quarter your new strategy is lost to the wind.

If you can relate to this, you’re not alone.

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Tips for Writing Better OKRs

Objectives & Key Results is a management methodology famously known as the engine behind the explosive growth of many Silicon Valley start-ups including Google and LinkedIn. OKRs provide a framework for focusing on a handful of highly impactful Objectives and achieving them following specific and measurable Key Results.

An effective OKR is both unambiguous and actionable. It includes an objective plus 3 – 5 key results. A good objective needs to be inspirational and challenging, while the key results need to be specific, measurable and time-bound. An OKR that isn’t written well is hard to communicate and even harder to achieve.

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What is the Best Frequency for Evaluating OKRs?

Deciding how often you should evaluate your progress is a crucial part of getting started with the OKR methodology. The most commonly used OKR evaluation cycle or cadence is weekly or monthly check-ins with quarterly and annual review. While this approach works for most organisations, it may not be the best option for you.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of finding an OKR cadence that works the best for you.

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4 Managerial Disciplines for Successful OKR Adoption

This is the story of where I went wrong when I first started using Objectives and Key Results and what I learnt from my experience. After the initial setback, I went back to the 4 managerial disciplines or the Four OKR Superpowers necessary for a successful OKR adoption.

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History of OKRs – From Peter Drucker to Andy Grove

“Aliyar hates processes.” I heard one of my teammates explain to a new hire.

It was true. I used to hate management by processes. Too much reliance on following processes leads to mediocrity. I’ve seen it happen before and I was determined to avoid it by promoting healthy scepticism and a spirit of experimentation. I’m still not a huge fan of processes but I’ve come to see that all processes aren’t created equal.

Building a high-performance team requires a disciplined approach to managing performance and rewards. Before fully adopting OKRs I had heard about them but I didn’t fully commit to using Objective & Key Results without some trial and error.

Along the way the two management titans that inspired me the most were Peter Drucker and Andy Grove.

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