Continuing our Voice of the Leader series around OGSM* interviews, we asked leaders from organizations around North America to share their breakthrough moment experiences in using OGSM as their strategy development framework.

Question: Did you have a light bulb moment in using OGSM for strategy development and execution?

For me, the light bulb moment came about due to working in an organization that had a consistent and ongoing struggle around priorities — and lacked the discipline to make the tough calls and get aligned.

Developing an OGSM caused the leadership, in a repeatable way and engaging way, to be forced to become more disciplined. Frankly, it was a relief. Before, everything was a no. 1 priority. It all had to happen today. The role clarity and accountability that was associated with the process is key — seeing the clutter of priorities disappear.

— Matthew Wolkow

I think the light bulb for me happened when we were going through the process. I quickly realized we didn’t have enough resources to do everything we were talking about. I realized we were often trying to do everything without adding resources.

— Kevin Young

Some of the light bulb moments come if you stick with it and grind through the hard parts. I experienced different breakthrough moments in picking and prioritizing the initiatives. Six months in as a team, we had what you could call a light bulb moment, but maybe a different way to express it was, “Stop the presses!” — as we realized we didn’t have a shared vision.

— James Potach

I’m an Excel junkie. Early on, I never put together how all the OGSM pieces of this puzzle would fit. I was saying, “You’re wearing me out with all this stuff. I just need the sum of the cells.” Finally, it was like a light bulb, and I got it.

Before OGSM, I was constantly chasing down projects. Sometimes figuring out where we were took two weeks, and by that time, they were done with the project. OGSM allows me to know exactly where we are with everything.

Early on, the hardest part was in understanding the why. We have too much work to do to take the time away and put this much energy toward a strategy management system. Developing it required so much time. At that point, I wondered if we were going to use the document we were creating. I look at it every day now.

— Blane Comeaux

The breakthrough moment for me came in realizing that human nature is such that people have to understand the objective. Regardless of where they are in the organization, people feel the need to understand the big objective statements.

People need to ask: “Is that really what we want to do?” The collective idea and discussion leads from that question to another place — and that process and discernment is critical to any organization.

— Chris Kizer

*OGSM is a world-class strategy model that transforms objectives, goals, strategies and measures into actionable and executable plans. The origins of OGSM stretch back to the 1950s. In the 1980s, Procter & Gamble popularized OGSM as a means of aligning the direction of their corporations around the globe. Many Fortune 500 companies have adopted OGSM to build and execute their strategic plans. ArchPoint, the world leader in OGSM methodology and delivery, has helped hundreds of organizations via the power of OGSM.

In an effort to bring real-world views on the difference OGSM makes in an organization, we asked a group of leaders across a variety of industries for their thoughts on using OGSM within their organizations. This is the second of six voice of the leader compilations of their thoughts and feedback.