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!