In Part 1 of this series, I shared guidance on how to examine and think about the structure of your business. As a quick review, structure focuses on how you are organized to deliver your business outcomes. I appreciated the many comments that I received about the ability of business owners and leaders to relate to the ideas that I shared.
Today I want to talk about how you get work done - the mechanisms, systems, and processes that facilitate the accomplishment of individual, connected, and interdependent tasks. This is one of the most beneficial business levers for reducing cost and increasing productivity, two significant contributors to profitability, and yet it is often neglected.
If you are fortunate, you have survived the teenage years of your children and are enjoying your home, free of the daily clutter that they create. If you are like me, however, you are in the messy middle of the teenage years, which is quickly confirmed by a glimpse into their bedroom.
Before we examine why this happens, let's talk about why it matters.
> It's distracting - cluttered space, cluttered mind
> It's uninviting - do you want to hang out here?
> It's disruptive - can you find what you need?
> It lowers self-esteem - can you be proud of this?
There are many rational reasons to explain why this is happening, so let me clarify a few misconceptions.
What we have here is a failure to adopt systems and processes to keep a tidy bedroom.
In the daily hustle and bustle of their teenage lives, jumping to the next activity or distraction (Hello FaceTime Friend), the extra steps of putting towels in the hamper (vs. throwing on the floor), hanging clothes (vs. piling on the bed), etc. never forms into a conscious thought, and thoughts are the antecedents to actions.
This is similar to what happens in business. With the pace and demands of growth, most business owners lack the time and energy to give proper attention to the processes that underlie how the work inside of the company gets done. So like my children, the task quickly becomes overwhelming and results in paralysis that only serves to compound the issues further.
Good process fuels productivity and cost savings by
Sales, inventory, and customer pipeline are just a few of the KPIs that most businesses monitor regularly, but the key to sustained growth is to build your internal systems and processes to match the demands created by growth. Ideally, the planning and execution of process changes occur just before the business is tested by the demands of new growth and that is why cleaning up your business processes needs to be on your spring cleaning to-do list.
Want to learn more about how to get started? Let's schedule some time together - the first conversation is always free!
I may not be the homemaker of my mother's generation, but I do make it a practice to "deep clean" my home twice a year and one of those time is usually in early Spring. Despite my best efforts to keep belongings in their designated place, inevitably I find that those appointed places begin to look cluttered and disorganized. Even though I do not suffer from OCD, I find that I hit a tipping point in which the detritus of life becomes distracting, discouraging, and ineffectual.
This is the time when I rotate apparel - hats, gloves, boots, and scarves move to the basement closet along with winter coats; sweaters move to the top of the closet and summer clothing moves to the more accessible lower shelves. It is during this rearrangement of clothing that I purge items I no longer wear or are looking tired and make my mental shopping list for pieces I want to add to my wardrobe.
As I complete these tasks, my happiness grows, and a sense of serenity is restored. Additionally, I often catch items on clearance at the end of the season and then promptly forget about them. So each cleaning cycle offers a discovery of hidden treasures that build my excitement for the climbing of the thermometer.
As a business owner or leader, Spring arrives six weeks before the second half of the year making it the perfect time to assess your organization and tweak a few things to ensure that you are positioned to hit full stride at mid-year. A great place to start is your organizational structure.
Structure, used as a dynamic business lever, is an accelerator for growth.
Many companies make the mistake of treating their structure as a static business design element, only to find that when their sales take-off, they struggle to keep pace.
Smart businesses manage a healthy tension between doing more within the boundaries of their current organization structure and investing in strategic changes to the structure in preparation for their planned growth.
If you are planning to make 2019 your best year ever, now is the time to assess your organizational structure before it becomes distracting, discouraging, and ineffectual.
Need some professional help? LET'S CONNECT! My expertise and years of experience in organizational design combined with my affordable prices make this spring cleaning effort an excellent investment. The first conversation is always free, so what are you waiting for?