We must manage a few things exceedingly well to produce extraordinary results.
“The greatest ideas are the simplest.”
― William Golding, Lord of the Flies
If you were to ask 100 business owners and entrepreneurs the key functions or activities within a business you are likely to get 100 different answers. Some might say marketing, others might suggest cash flow management, and others would likely say providing a great product or service. And still, others might suggest taking care of your people.
The fact is, they are all correct. But how do we possibly manage and focus on the potentially hundreds of different systems and do them well? If we neglect any of these, it could possibly have massive negative implications on a business since at the end of the day they are vital and critical to our business success. Right?
What if there were just a handful of key systems, that once mastered, would ensure that every single aspect of your organization was led and managed well?
In this case, you could focus on just a few things, do them very, very well, and know you will produce consistent, high-performing, predictable results.
In the following pages, I will be introducing the 9 Critical Business Systems that, once implemented, will totally transform your business and turn it into a high-producing, growing, and scalable organization that has a fun and rewarding culture, happy employees, and satisfied owners.
So let’s go…
System #1 – Your Leadership Communication System
There is a huge difference between fully engaged, passionate, and committed team members focused on supporting the vision, values, and goals of an organization and those who are simply going through the motions in order to receive a paycheck.
Great leadership engages, inspires, drives, and motivates people to take ownership of a mission, purpose, goal, or task. In order to accomplish this purpose, effective leaders have a great leadership communication system.
The primary result of The Leadership Communication System is to develop and foster an enthusiastic collective focus on the company goals, vision, and core values among all employees and stakeholders. An enthusiastic collective focus is defined as every team member, stakeholder or contributor to the organization demonstrating a thorough understanding and acceptance of the organization’s values, goals, and vision as evidenced by their passion, excitement, and awareness.
In addition, through this process, team members actively, and often independently, engage in behavior that supports the achievement of the company vision, values, and goals.
We measure the effectiveness of this system by watching to see if there is independent and enthusiastic support and action towards achieving the vision, and goals of the organization while embracing the company culture among all team members.
Companywide leadership communication and forums can show up in a variety of forms depending on the unique logistically dynamics of an organization. This process ensures that the most effective and productive forums for leadership-oriented communication are created and implemented.
This system gets people engaged, focused, and excited about building the business. Imagine the power in that…
System #2 – Your Systems Development and Management Process
With all the talk of systems and process development these days I have found it remarkable just how ineffective organizations are when it comes to executing the development of solid, results-producing, and sustainable systems. In the best of scenarios, companies end up with a set of three-ringed binders filled with poorly written and rarely used systems and procedures. The worst case is nothing happens at all.
The Systems Development and Management Process first embraces the idea that the key to the success of any business is dependent on the quality of its systems and if you want to improve the business you improve the systems.
Secondly, The Systems Development and Management Process orchestrates the initial and effective documentation, testing, training, and delegation of all your business systems. Then it ensures the ongoing improvement and innovation of your systems on a regular basis that will ultimately make your entire business better.
When a business orchestrates The Systems Development and Management Process well it will ensure consistency, predictability, and continual improvement in every part of the business. And once that is done, we have a model that is scalable and will grow effectively and profitably.
It’s the single most important thing that a business can do.
System #3 – Your Employee Development Process
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
As leaders and business owners we work at getting our people enthusiastically engaged and excited about the vision, values, and goals of the business using The Leadership Communication System. While doing so we are essentially asking people to care about what matters to us.
Employees must feel like what matters to them matters to us. Especially if we want them to be fully engaged.
In addition, if we want our people to truly be the best and most productive people they can be, we must be intentionally and proactively engaging in their improvement.
Creating an environment where your employees feel valued, important, and produce like ‘rockstars’ requires more than a suggestion box on the wall and a few minutes of training.
The Employee Development Process establishes a forum for highly effective communication between a team member and their manager or mentor while also providing productive and regular feedback regarding performance. It also includes specific and intentional training and ongoing development so they maximize results and are continually improving.
The Employee Development Process has a massive impact on overall employee results, morale, and job satisfaction.
System #4 – Your Accountability and Follow-through Process
Imagine you’ve created a wonderful, results-producing, highly effective, consistent, and productive systems-driven work environment. You’ve created systems to ensure that every aspect of the organization from lead generation and conversion, to recruiting and hiring and training, to fulfillment, to profit and cash management, to employee development is running like a finely tuned machine. You’ve documented, tested, and trained everything and made it simple for your people to find and utilize the systems they have been trained. You’ve done all this by applying the System Development and Management Process.
Sounds great huh?
But what if nobody is actually utilizing the systems you’ve created? All your hard work and good intentions are completely wasted.
The Accountability and Follow-through Process creates an environment where we maximize trust and are absolutely certain that our people will keep the commitments to complete the work and tasks assigned to them, every day and every time.
We are not talking about increased micromanagement. We are talking about fostering an environment of trust where we can count on each other to do what we say we’re going to do.
The Accountability and Follow-through Process puts your systems to work and gives you absolute confidence in your business and your people.
System #5 – Your Business Performance Scorecard Process
“In business, the idea of measuring what you are doing, picking the measurements that count like customer satisfaction and performance… you thrive on that.”
– Bill Gates
Monitoring and effectively responding to situations where the organization is not achieving its goals is tantamount to its success. We must adjust as needed to breakdowns in performance. Leaders, who aspire to achieve great things, often fail to closely and objectively monitor how well the various departments or areas of the business are truly doing.
The Business Performance Scorecard Process is a tool where critical, accurate, and comprehensive performance-related data is provided to the business leadership on a weekly basis. Upon review of the information, leadership and management will effectively and intentionally respond and make the necessary course corrections that will maximize the likelihood of achieving the company goals and objectives.
Having good quality information is not enough, however. It is what the business does with it that matter the most. The Business Performance Scorecard Process sets the organization up so it will respond appropriately to the information that will virtually ensure that it will achieve its goals and desired results.
In other words, we set goals, measure them, and adjust as needed to hit them every time!
System #6 – Your Problem Resolution Process
“The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein
Most businesses are random and unstructured in their approach to resolving problems and frustrations. At the same time, a majority of our time is often spent putting out fires and solving issues.
Many issues never get appropriately addressed, leaving the identification of problems and frustrations while providing a systematic, consistent approach to dealing with and eliminating the issues forever.
Making effective problem solving a part of the culture of an organization will lead to an extraordinary and long-term positive impact on the health, profit, efficiency, and scalability of the business.
System #7 – Your Innovation and Improvement Process
Most entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders are effective innovators. Granted they may be unstructured and undisciplined in their
approach to innovation.
We call this Interrupt
Innovation. This is a condition where a leader or entrepreneur proposes or initiates a change or an improvement in the organization, whether
it is needed or not. Of course, everything can be improved. But should it? That is one of the key questions and issues the Innovation and Improvement Process addresses. In addition, the process also addresses the fact that most of the time it is the owner or primary leader of the organization that is driving the change.
This essentially means the organization is dependent on the owner to drive intelligent improvement. The Innovation and Improvement Process standardizes the approach to making the business better by determining the best time to innovate and improve something. It also creates an environment where virtually every team member is empowered to effectively participate in the improvement process.
The Innovation and Improvement Process takes the burden of innovation off the ownership of the business and engages others to effectively support the business improvement. It also helps mitigate and ultimately stop disruptive interrupt innovation or instances where good ideas and suggestions are not appropriately acted on as they come up. Innovation and improvement are essential to growing and scaling any business. Doing it the right way will be the difference between the business being good or ultimately great.
System #8 – Your Task Prioritizer Process
“Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.”
– Victor Hugo
Effective managers ensure that the right activities are being done by the right people at the right time. Great systems ensure that we are doing work the right way. Training ensure that our people are proficient at doing the work.
The Task Prioritizer Process is like the orchestrate conductor making sure people are hitting the right notes and are in sync with each another. The Task Prioritizer Process ensures that the right people are doing the right work at the right time.
Let’s face it. Most people have a lot of things to remember. With that comes the reality that sometimes things slip through the cracks and don’t get done or get done on time.
The Task Prioritizer Process guides the business to create a tool that is used by employees and is made up of reoccurring tasks or assignments that fall in their area of responsibility. It serves as a catalyst or trigger to remind them of the tasks they are accountable or responsible for completing. It ensures they get the right work completed on time, every time.
System #9 – Your Culture Development Process
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
– Peter Drucker
One of the biggest complaints or frustrations that we hear from business owners and organization leaders has less to do with an employee day to day performance and more to do with the team members having a poor attitude. The situation is often described this way. “They seem to do a good job but they just don’t seem to fit.” What they are really saying is the team member doesn’t fit the culture or embrace the values of the business.
Now there are several reasons why someone might not fit the culture and embrace the values.
1– They don’t know them because they haven’t been defined and articulated effectively.
2– They simply don’t fit. Most of the time, the problem is due to reason #1. The company hasn’t effectively defined and thoroughly threaded the culture throughout the entire organization.
The Culture Development Process addresses this issue by doing several things.
1– Helping the business effectively define its values in a way that can be lived out by its people. We aren’t talking about a list to go on the wall somewhere, but values that can be easily translated into day-to-day activities.
A culture is defined as a set of values widely embraced by a group and lived out in their day-to-day actions and attitudes.
2– Focuses on ensuring that each person is living the values through effective communication, mentoring, and training until such time the culture becomes a self-perpetuating and positive force that impacts the business internally while having a differentiating influence on its customers and community.
The Culture Development Process ensures that the heart or values of the business are fully developed and work in conjunction with the systems which are like the brains of the business ensuring we do everything effectively and productively.
Taking action leads to transformation
There you have it…the 9 Critical Business Systems. Each one is vitally important to the success of an organization. Effectively implementing them will ensure that a business becomes scalable and can grow profitability because, through them, every aspect of the business is fully addressed.
If you felt this content resonated with you or if it made sense and you’d like to explore this information further, you have some options.
1. Do nothing. (Hey it’s an option that usually starts with procrastination and ultimately leads to inaction).
2. Take action based on this information and figure it out on your own.
3. Engage help from a fellow SBGC member or see the Founders Circle page for our Business Growth Leaders!