What Are Systems?
I find myself in yet another systems conversation. I probably talk about systems as much as I do my kids. People talk to me about systems all day long, such as the conversation I find myself in right now. This client’s story is no different than anyone else’s, yet with such similarities, I smile, that in some way, all entrepreneurs are plagued with the same challenges. “You really mean I have to document all of that? Shouldn’t they just know how to do that. Especially when I tell them when they are hired?”
Oh Suzy. Poor dear old Suzy. OF COURSE YOU DO. Whatever you want someone to do, you must systemize. The idea is so simplistic, I think Suzy’s mind was just blown. I can’t help but continue explaining, “Do you understand what systems really are? They are your business, brand and culture. They are your main defining factor representing your offerings in a way that are SO different, someone will purchase from you vs your competitor. That you deliver such an exceptional level of service, customers refer their friends to you, with confidence no matter who you serve, because you serve them the same way, every…single…..time.”
Systems aren’t some superficial set of rules that you hope everyone holds as near and dear to as you. That fairytale is just going to keep you doing exactly what you are doing right now. However, if you can embrace the work, time and energy it will take to really systemize, I can promise you one thing, stuff is going to start changing.
Look at these three easy steps to start the process on your own right now……….
Structure: Begin by finding a template that works for you. A template will make easy to sit down and document, in an organized way. It will eventually allow you to train other key managers and staff to document systems within their positions and departments.
Management: If you haven’t already, ensure it is clear who manages whom around there. See, systems are all about management, because they let you manage. Without them, who is to say that what you or your managers say is right? But, when things are documented, you can now hold anyone to the standards that were created, trained and documented. Solidified for ever more, as the backbone of any business. So, by ensuring that someone is following directions and so is everyone else (Why the heck is self-management so hard for people?), no body slips, intentionally or unintentionally.
Leadership: Leadership is the glue that holds everything together. Without leadership, nothing moves forward. Leaders are the ones in the front, identifying new opportunities, finding better products, new services and advanced technology. Leaders make great system better…and better….and better. So, without leaders going out their and doing what they do best, the whole thing eventually crumbles. Your systems fall apart, become dated and eventually unusable.
You still thinking about Suzy? Don’t worry, she got over it, because she finally got tired of doing the same thing over and over and over again and getting the same results. She reminded me of the system we implemented many months ago, that was still working, still saving her time and being done efficiently by someone else. She accepted it wasn’t going to happen overnight, yet if she stayed consistent, it would happen.
So, we found a system and started again.