What’s the Big Deal About “Systems”?
If you've been in business for any significant length of time, you've probably heard and read it over and over - you have to have "systems" in your business. Systems for sales, and marketing, and service delivery. Systems for finances, and hiring, and team management.
What you may not realize is regardless if you have all these things documented in a fancy manual, you already HAVE systems for each of these. As Mike Michalowicz writes in "Fix This Next", these systems are "In many cases...simply the routines you and your colleagues follow."
The question then becomes "Are the routines we are following efficient and predictable, leading to reliable outcomes?"
If so, the work becomes documenting those systems. You can write them in a manual, take screenshots, do video screen captures of the task being performed, or all of the above. The important thing is that the system is documented and able to followed by anyone.
On the other hand if your systems aren't working, the job becomes to find out why and work on improving it.
The goal here is not to take hours and hours to write fancy manuals that nobody ever looks at and are hard to understand.
The goal of creating (if necessary) and documenting systems is to help you Achieve Organizational Order.
And not coincidentally, that is Level 3 on the Fix This Next "Business Hierarchy of Needs" (BHN).
The way we define "Order" in this context is important. Order is not only about efficiency, productivity, and getting stuff done faster.
It's about creating a company that is not dependent on any one individual. Including you. Maybe especially you.
A business that achieves organizational order is a business that runs smoothly when you take a vacation, or your admin is sick, or a key employee has to rush out of town on an emergency.
Here's a challenge for you. The next time you walk into a Starbucks, or Dunkin Donuts, or whatever your favorite place to get coffee is, ask to speak with the owner. Chances are, the team member standing at the counter won't even know who that is, never mind run out to the back to get them. How is that possible? Because these businesses run on systems, not on any one person. That is organizational order.
As we discovered on the Sales and Profit levels of the BHN, there are 5 key questions and needs on the "Order" level as well. Over the next few weeks we will cover each one in, you guessed it, Order.
See you then!