The OGSM method optimizes the chance of success in change processes

I am often on the road and these days I listen to podcasts for most of my travel time. A great podcast about business leadership quoted an Einstein quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different outcomes.” And I immediately thought of a study that shows that 80% of the intended changes never take place.

Funny actually, we know that to get different results, you will have to change something, but at the same time, so few succeed in making changes. Now I hear some of you thinking: “that won’t happen to me…”. Which can. Then you are either a very successful entrepreneur or you are an entrepreneur who will never be successful. Harsh words? Maybe, but no less likely.

Implementing changes is not necessarily difficult. Provided you take the right steps, of course. You could name the steps you need to take as follows; A. know exactly where you stand. B. Know where you want to go. C. Which team will take you there. D. ensure that what needs to be done is done.

Knowing where you stand is important. Because if you don’t know exactly where you are, how are you supposed to know how to get where you want to go? Numbers play an important role here. Numbers do not lie, although the interpretation of numbers is very important!

  • Know where you want to go.

You can determine where you want to go in different ways. You can rely on your own feeling and knowledge. You can use data available from competitors or industry-specific numbers. From benchmarks or from specialists who have valuable data. What others achieve only partially says anything. What really matters is your own ambition!

  • Which team will take you there.

And then it’s about how you are going to realize that ambition. How will you ensure that you will achieve different results? In this phase it is important to involve the right people. Which members of your team play a role in the ambition in question? And who can you make responsible for drawing up and implementing the plan?

  • Ensuring that what needs to be done gets done.

And then comes the most important, all-determining element; do what needs to be done. Change processes – just like everything that needs to grow – need attention. In every aspect and in every phase. The ‘ensuring that what needs to be done is done’ phase is of course the most extensive. In this phase, the plan must be made and implemented. And that requires support, clarity, action and discipline. You create support by involving people in what you want, why you want it and how you want to achieve it. Employees do not have to agree with everything to get moving, but they must see the need and understand why changes are necessary. For clarity, action and discipline you could draw up an OGSM.

The OGSM method

One way to structure your plan and maximize the chance of success is to set up an OGSM board. The aim of an OGSM is to map out all elements related to the changes on 1 A4 sheet, and an OGSM is an instrument that guides everyone involved throughout the change process. Fill-in models can be downloaded from the internet that you can use to design your own OGSM.

The O stands for Objective or your ambition. In the ambition you describe where you want to be at time x. Unlike a goal, an ambition does not have to be SMART. An ambition can relate to a part of your business operations, but can also provide an overall picture of where you want your company to be in period x. That’s just what you choose.

The G stands for Goals or the objectives. Formulate these as SMART as possible. The objectives form the translation of your ambition into reality. Objectives are based on where you are now and what you consider possible. The A in SMART is therefore essential. Often the A is defined as acceptable, but I would go more for attractive. After all, a goal can be quite ambitious! The number of objectives that you link to an ambition is not determined. The number depends on the breadth of the ambition and the number of proposed changes that you have described.

The S stands for Strategy. Under this point you describe the strategic choices you have to make in order to achieve objectives. Example: imagine you have the ambition to have a complete range for a broad target group and you have a building of 500 m2. Then you have to make the strategic choice to stay where you are and to realize your ambition within those limits, but you can also make the choice to look for a larger building. There is no good or bad in this choice, but it is essential in how you will shape your ambition.

The M stands for Measures and can be translated in two ways: indicators and measures. Which indicators will tell you whether you are on the right track and which concrete actions will we take? This is the dynamic part of your OGSM. This part is continuously updated, continuously gives direction to the actions that everyone does and must take to get where you want to be according to your ambition.


A mature organization is capable of getting a little better all the time. Changing, or perhaps better improving, does not happen automatically and is an ongoing process in which tools such as a Business Balanced Scorecard or an OGSM can help very well. It brings structure and overview for everyone involved in the process and thus contributes enormously to the successful implementation of changes. Do you have any questions or comments? Then don’t hesitate and send an email to [email protected].

Rene Wanting
Owner Mindset Business Development
Chief Operations Officer X-fittt/ Formupgrade/ Lifestyle Gennep

René Wantzing is the owner of Mindset Business Development & Management Support and also Chief Operations Officer at X-Fittt/ Formupgrade/ Lifestyle Gennep. He is a sparring partner, coach and sounding board for entrepreneurs in the fitness industry. Mindset Business Development helps fitness companies in the middle and high segment to further professionalize their business operations. The result: maximum profit and a future-proof company.

This article is a submission and is not the responsibility of the editors.

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