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What is MSD?

Making Strategic Decisions (MSD) is a critical aspect of business management and leadership. It involves the process of making choices that will shape the future direction of an organisation. These decisions are often complex and multifaceted, requiring a deep understanding of the business environment, competitive landscape, internal capabilities, and stakeholder expectations. MSD is not just about making decisions; it’s about making the right decisions that will lead to sustainable growth and success.

Why do I need MSD?

The importance of MSD cannot be overstated. In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, the ability to make strategic decisions effectively is a key differentiator between successful organisations and those that struggle. MSD allows you to navigate uncertainty, seize opportunities, mitigate risks, and align your resources with your strategic objectives. Without effective MSD, you risk making reactive or short-sighted decisions that could undermine your long-term success.

How can I apply MSD?

Applying MSD involves a systematic approach that includes the following 5 steps:

1. Define the strategic issue: Clearly articulate the problem or opportunity at hand.

2. Gather information: Collect relevant data and insights about the issue.

3. Analyse the information: Use analytical tools and frameworks to understand the implications of different decision options.

4. Make the decision: Based on your analysis, choose the best course of action.

5. Implement and monitor: Execute your decision and monitor its impact to ensure it delivers the desired results.

Examples of successful MSD applications

There are numerous examples of successful MSD applications across various industries. For instance, when Apple decided to enter the mobile phone market with the iPhone in 2007, it was a strategic decision that transformed not only Apple but also the entire telecommunications industry.

Another example is Netflix’s decision to shift from DVD rentals to streaming services in 2007. This strategic decision allowed Netflix to capitalise on the growing trend of online streaming and has since become a dominant player in the global entertainment industry.

Learning to apply MSD: A 5-step guide

1. Develop a strategic mindset: Start by understanding the strategic context of your business and developing a forward-thinking mindset.

2. Enhance your decision-making skills: Learn about decision-making models and techniques that can help you make more informed and effective decisions.

3. Understand your business environment: Stay abreast of industry trends, competitive dynamics, and customer needs that could influence your strategic decisions.

4. Foster collaboration: Encourage diverse perspectives and collaborative decision-making to ensure a more comprehensive understanding of strategic issues.

5. Reflect and learn: Regularly review your decisions and their outcomes to learn from your successes and mistakes.


In conclusion, Making Strategic Decisions (MSD) is an essential skill for any business leader or manager. It involves making informed choices that will shape the future direction of an organisation. By understanding what MSD is, why it’s important, how to apply it, and learning from successful examples, you can enhance your ability to make strategic decisions that drive growth and success for your organisation.