Vivek Sharma on decision-making frameworks and growth
Jul 6 2021
🎶A B C D E F G 🎶.… every time I need to order or locate something alphabetically, I end up having to sing that tune in my head. I'm sure I'm no the only one, and of course I know that C comes after B and E before F, but I can’t help but pick up the song again and again when I need to find out if U comes before or after P.
This little ditty is an example of what's known as auditory learning. It’s essential for teaching phonics and other basic building blocks of education, particularly at a young age. It’s a good way to understand something if you have an audio medium with which to teach. However, a visual representation of an idea can sometimes be that much more impactful.
Even in your own subscription business, I’m sure you look at numbers all day, whether it’s your burn rate, your CAC, your call volume, whatever it is—but the raw data is basically useless unless you’re looking at the actual trends. And the way you look at those trends is by visualizing them. Visualization makes the data come to life to help you make changes to keep moving the trends in the right direction.
We’re going to go deep on this concept of visualization with someone who understands visualization at a core level. And that person is Vivek Sharma, CEO and Founder of Moveable Ink. When we interviewed him a couple of years ago, Moveable Ink was recently crossing the $40M in ARR mark. So I'm sure they've increased and passed that particular juncture by now, as Vivek told us the lessons he learned with growth and a number of other topics. While we can’t show you over headphones, I’m sure that learning from Vivek will be as easy as A, B, C.
Listen now 🎧
Here we summarize the main takeaways for you to implement or hand off to your team for implementation.
What is a decision-making framework?
A decision-making framework refers to the principles, processes, and practices that enable you to go from information and desires to making decisions that lead to action. Furthermore, a decision-making framework isn’t always about making the “best” decision, it’s about leveraging the information available, delegating and fostering trust within teams, and taking action to execute on projects.
Why is it important?
Decision paralysis, or the inability to make decisions, kills productivity. And in business, being able to make intelligent decisions is a key component to growth. Having a decision-making framework in place not only facilitates and improves the ability for making decisions, it also helps you make quality decisions quicker, and builds confidence within your teams. This in turn, leads to job fulfillment and higher productivity.
Depending on which department is experiencing difficulties with production and decision-making, schedule a time to meet with your department heads (or company leadership) to discuss and evaluate your existing processes and frameworks.
What to do next quarter:
Problem identification and solutions
A group brainstorming session or idea-generating process is ideal.
Key questions to ask:
How long does it take your team to make decisions?
Do you feel rushed or that you don’t have the needed information to make a timely decision?
What are the basic risks your company needs to evaluate?
Who is responsible for decision making at different phases of the process?
Identify and establish clear goals
Establish your objectives and ensure they’re clearly communicated.
Set clear deadlines .
What are the consequences of missing the deadline?
Decide how much time can or should be spent considering options.
Think of your time as a commodity and resource to be measured.
Determine who will make final decisions at different milestones before next steps take place
These decision makers will be responsible for any challenges along the way.
They will ensure tasks are completed on time.
Make information and data accessible
Ensure that those involved and accountable have access to the needed information and data, and that resources are up to date to reduce the risk of ill-informed decisions.
Understand the pros and cons of your top decisions
What are the consequences of making the wrong decision?
What are the benefits of making an appropriate decision?
What is the worst-case scenario and likelihood of it occurring?
Refer to your company values
Each organization likely has its own set of core company values—all decisions should be based on your values.
Review and finalize
Take time to reflect on your framework, and don’t be afraid to revisit the decision framework if there are areas that are unclear. You want to ensure it’s clear and leaves no room for doubt as to who is responsible for what.
Document, securely store, and communicate the process.
What to do within the next year:
Implement your decision-making framework and as always, assess the output and results. It’s important to follow each step of your framework, even if it’s to determine what is or isn’t relevant for a given situation, and adjust accordingly. As your business grows, your projects will evolve, so you want to ensure your frameworks are evolving with them for the best possible outcome.
Who should own this?
Department heads and/or team leads.
Who's up next week?
Next week, Matthew Barnett, the Papa Bear of Bonjoro, dives into customer success.
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This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.
By Patrick Campbell
Founder & CEO of ProfitWell, the software for helping subscription companies with their monetization and retention strategies, as well as providing free turnkey subscription financial metrics for over 20,000 companies. Prior to ProfitWell Patrick led Strategic Initiatives for Boston-based Gemvara and was an Economist at Google and the US Intelligence community.