December 7, 2022

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Home » The Pros and Cons of a Business Operating System

The Pros and Cons of a Business Operating System

When it comes to running your business, you need to find the right balance between structure and chaos. In other words, you want to give your company enough structure so that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal but also leave enough room for things to get chaotic from time to time so that new ideas can flourish and unexpected opportunities can be capitalized on. Operationalizing your business means streamlining how it’s run so that everything runs efficiently and the necessary KPIs are regularly measured. One way to achieve this is by implementing an operating system as part of your organizational strategy. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of an OS in your company, along with tips for implementation if you think it’s right for you.

What is an OS?

An operating system is a framework that can guide your company toward effective and consistent execution. It’s like a road map showing you where you want to end up and then helps you plot out the best route. An OS gives your company structure, which is especially important when circumstances change frequently, and you need to stay nimble while also avoiding chaos. A good OS ensures that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal, which is essential for any business. This can be especially important in a remote team where it can be harder to stay positively aligned without in-person meetings and frequent collaboration. When everyone knows their role, responsibilities, and focus areas, it’s easier to move as one giant company rather than a bunch of separate departments.

Pro: It’s a roadmap for your business

An operating system for your business is essentially a roadmap for where you want your company to be in 1 year, five years, or even ten years from now. It’s essential to set both short-term and long-term goals for your company, and an OS makes it easier to do this. If your operating system is designed correctly, it should include specific metrics that people must hit consistently. These metrics will vary depending on what type of business you have. For example, a PR firm may need to hit a monthly average of 10 blog posts published. A marketing company may need to hit a monthly average of 100 sales calls. Once you establish the right metrics for your company, the OS will help you stay focused on achieving those goals.

Pro: It makes employees feel valued

An OS will help you stay focused on achieving your company goals, but finding ways to make employees feel valued is also essential. An effective OS will include elements designed to make your team feel valued. For example, you may have a “weekly win” program where employees who achieve something noteworthy during the week are recognized and celebrated. You may also have regular check-ins where employees are encouraged to be open about what’s going well, what isn’t, and how they can help the company move forward. In addition to celebrating wins, weekly check-ins help keep employees engaged by allowing them to share their thoughts and ideas without feeling like they’re burdening others or taking too much time.

Con: Employees may lose their sense of ownership over company goals

An OS is designed to help your company move in the right direction, but it shouldn’t take away from the original reason why your team members got into business in the first place. If you designed the system too strict, you may miss out on opportunities that your team members could have acted on swiftly and effectively if there weren’t so many rules. If your OS is too strict, it can make employees feel like they’re being forced to follow someone else’s roadmap, making them feel as though they have lost their sense of ownership over company goals.

Con: Employees will be constantly monitored, which can lead to feelings of being criticized continuously

If your OS isn’t designed carefully and you don’t follow the system yourself, it can lead to employees feeling constantly monitored. This can be especially problematic if you’re the only person who knows the system and holds yourself accountable for following it correctly. If you’re constantly monitoring employees and checking in on their progress on the system, it can feel like you’re always expecting more and never satisfied. The best way to avoid this is by using an OS you’ve designed and regularly updating it as your company evolves.


An OS is a great way to streamline how your company is run, but it can also help you set goals for the future and make employees feel valued. The key is ensuring the system is designed correctly so that employees don’t feel like they’ve lost their sense of ownership over company goals or are constantly monitored. Once you’ve found the right balance for your company, an OS can help you run your business more effectively and efficiently.

Are you technical and want to learn more about automating your systems? Read about GraphQL vs Rest here

Who is Brent Peterson?
Brent is a serial entrepreneur and marketing professional with a passion for running. He co-founded Wagento and has a new adventure called ContentBasis. Brent is the host of the podcast Talk Commerce. He has run 25 marathons and one Ironman race. Brent has been married for 29 years. He was born in Montana, and attended the University of Minnesota and Birmingham University without ever getting his degree.

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