What's Cookin' at the Ranch?

A closer look at GhostRanch operations

Welcome to the GhostRanch Communications stove. The flame is burning bright and the water is steamy. (Apologies in advance for the metaphor stretch throughout this post).

 A particularly interesting prompt in the AltMBA asked us to draw a “decision map” of our organization or company. (For more about my AltMBA experience, have a listen here on our podcast, Come Sell Away).

“What’s a decision map,” you ask? I also thought of the tongue-in-cheek illustrations that start with “Should you order pizza?” and all potential answers arrive at a resounding “Yes.” 

A “decision map” is a “diagrammatic representation that illustrates a solution model to a given problem.” AltMBA founder Seth Godin has written about making decisions on his blog, here and here.   

In regards to GhostRanch, I saw an obstacle in that we’re a pretty close-knit fam (read: small). Decisions are made in the “collective.” Our roles blur and bend so that we are all continuously working towards the betterment of the Ranch.

The idea of a collective, however, got me thinking of processes by which a variety of components are necessary to be a success. In other words, it got me thinking of cooking. Indeed, cooking requires multiple steps and ingredients to be successful. (I was probably hungry when I wrote this).

Decision maps are a way to take a closer look and examine the processes with which an organization, no matter how large or small, operates.

Welcome, to the GhostRanch Stove…

GhostRanch Communications is a presentation design company and there are exactly five of us that make up the whole shindig. 

Boss H20

The founder of GhostRanch was formerly a full-time freelance graphic designer. He found his niche with PowerPoint presentations, decks and sales materials and making them come alive. He is the one constantly providing fuel to keep everyone else motivated (keep our ideas “bubbling,” if you will). Whether it’s encouragement through a tedious project or an entirely new idea for us to tackle, he’s a never-ending stream of ingenuity. Water represents life, right? So without the boss-man H20, there would be no GhostRanch at all.

Spoon Word-View

I was brought into this cookery as a copywriter/creative strategist/content marketer/project manager and my roles continue to evolve. I see myself as a mixing spoon that helps to keep things moving and continually “stir the pot” (stay with me here). Whether it’s a random creative project or something to post on Instagram, this “word-view” is the voice moving the Ranch through social spheres and beyond. 

Spicy Designers

Designers: they’re used to being the embellishment of a project. Their work is literally just that—to make something look good. What’s different about GhostRanch design is that on our “smaller scale,” they’re also essential to conveying the big idea. That’s what makes us special and keeps those clients coming back. Our designers aren’t just salt and pepper—they’re the fancy spices, the kind people go on talking about: lemon pepper, Himalayan sea salt, and paprika.  

The Big Stovetop Picture

What’s essential to understand in this stovetop map of GRC is that we’re definitely cooking. As we continue to grow and change and offer new services to clients, we might even be feeling the pressures of boiling over. What kind of project management tool should we invest in? Can we organize the Dropbox a little better? 

All of these questions come with decisions. It’s an exciting point to be at and an essential one to closely examine the inner-workings of your organization. It’s not always a hierarchy of decision making. It’s something that the boss-man throws into the pot, I offer my two-spoon-cents, and our brilliant designers throw the spice that makes it (nice) memorable and leaves clients and followers with something they will associate as specific to the Ranch.

There is extreme value in taking a step back and looking at how an organization operates, what you are efficient with, and where there might be gaps.

Whether you’re going through a transition or not, I’d recommend drawing a map of your own. It may not be a stovetop setting but I’m sure you’ll find your own metaphor.