A Template For Getting Stronger Results

The GOST Model

In our previous post, we discussed communicating our vision.  Our attention now shifts to translating the vision into results.  In times of crisis when we are under stress, our natural temptation is to take action, any action.  There is no shortage of things we can work on and doing something probably feels good.  The problem is, we all have finite resources and if we aren’t focusing them on the right things, we risk falling short of our goal.

Translating Vision Into results

This is why it is critical to have a disciplined approach for translating our vision into action.  We use a framework called the GOST model, created by leading strategy expert Rich Horvath.  The GOST model is a simple 2×2 grid.  It distinguishes “What” we do from “How” we do it.  It also distinguishes between long-term and the short-term perspectives.  The “What” are the outcomes we want to achieve.  The “How” are the actions we will take to achieve the outcomes.  Having both a long- and short-term view is important to balance keeping our eyes on the horizon and also paying attention to what is right in front of us.

The GOST model is outlined in the diagram below.

Let’s take a look at each of the elements of the GOST model and explain their role.

Goals represent the highest-level outcomes you wish to achieve.  Achieving these high-level Goals helps you realize your vision.  One or more Goals may be required and they typically span a year or longer

Strategies are the high-level plans you will follow to achieve your Goals.  They describe what you will do in broad terms.  By focusing them at a high level, they are less likely to change.  The Tactics, described below, contain the detail actions required to execute the Strategies.

Objectives describe how you will assess progress towards achieving your Goals.  They are often described in terms of performance milestones to help assess the likelihood of achieving the high-level Goal.  Without Objectives, you risk doing a lot of work and not knowing if you are making progress towards the goal(s).  Unlike Goals, the Objectives are usually revised on a periodic basis reflecting progress made.

Tactics are specific actions or steps you will take to execute the strategy and achieve your goals.  As noted above, they are described in actionable detail.  It is common to execute multiple tactics to support the strategy and achieve the Goals.  Tactics are revised frequently depending on the progress made.

Why is the GOST model so useful?

  1. Helping align vision and goals with actions to achieve them. Achieving a vision can seem daunting.  The GOST model helps you break down the journey into manageable steps that lead to the desired outcome.
  2. Maintaining a view of where you are going while planning the immediate actions you need to take. It is easy to get distracted and lose sight of your goals.  The GOST model keeps the horizon in sight and helps you plan the next actions to get there.
  3. Helping team members understand how their work aligns with the overall vision and goals. In larger organizations, team members can lose sight of how their work fits into the organizations purpose and vision.  This reduces morale and engagement.  The GOST model helps every team member understand how their work connects to the goals and vision of the organization.  In other words, why their work is important.

At Oyster, we help our clients utilize the GOST model and use it to improve their results.  Click below to receive a template to help you start using the GOST model in your business.  Better still, let’s have a conversation to discuss how you can get started.