Pillar #2: Successful Systems
Ok, so anyone in the union movement, human rights, equality or sociological space are already offended by this post just from its header.
People running successful, profitable, culture based businesses already understand this (either consciously or unconsciously) and their people are reaping the rewards.
Now you understand the importance of the order in which we must focus our energies in business (see Pillar 1 for an explanation), once we have established our Standards in our Environment Of Excellence, we then are able to attract employees that share our vision, our mission and are passionate about what we do and why we do it.
That’s great… for now.
So now we have focused, driven people forming the foundation of our business (we have an awesome ‘culture’), we can now relax because all of the ‘businessey’ stuff will take care of itself, right?
So, so wrong.
I’m really passionate about aeroplanes.
Always looking up at the sky as they pass by, planning my overseas trip sectors so I can go on a particular type of plane, even the smell of Av Gas when I pull up at an airport is like Christmas to me.
I know the science of thrust and lift, can tell the ailerons from the flaps, I even know the crew-passenger ratios of most commercial aircraft.
Trial flights, cockpit experiences, simulators, I’ve done them all.
But I promise you this (even though I’m THAT passionate)…
If we’re in an A380 and the PA announcement is “Can anyone fly a plane?”, you probably don’t want me putting my hand up.
The passion draws me to the plane, it may even drive me to get my pilots license, but what good is any of that if I haven’t learnt the Systems of the A380.
Or even 4 engine Jet aircraft systems.
Or even just twin engine Jet aircraft systems.
Or even single engine Jet aircraft systems.
So passion is one thing, learning the systems and strategies specific to your business is another.
Here comes the most game changing distinction most of my clients experience:
People must not run your business. Systems run a business, the people run the systems.
(Seriously, write that one down, its a good one)
A380 pilots don’t fly the plane.
They don’t provide thrust, they don’t lift it, turn it or even make the little wing lights blink.
The operate the systems.
If all the systems fail on a commercial aircraft, you better stick your arms out the windows and start flapping, because no pilot in the world actually fly’s those planes. Even if they pull back on the stick, that stick operates a whole system of levers, hydraulics, wires and hinges.
A passionate pilot who doesn’t know the systems = disaster.
A passionate pilot who’s learnt the systems = First Class Flying.
A passionate sales team who don’t know the systems (rapport, objection & stall handling, sales scripting, client empowerment etc etc) = $0 and no more jobs for staff.
A passionate sales team who does all of the above = First Class Business.
So now we know the importance of systems, and more importantly we know when, in the order of priority in business, we need to give them our energy, let’s take a look at the systems themselves.
Notice Pillar 2 is called “Successful Systems”, as opposed to “Systems”.
There is a proliferation of business systems sitting in folders on shelves collecting dust (or virtual dust on company intranets).
Not in use, or at best, poorly in use.
There is also a proliferation of systems written like Government department, scope of works, 15 paragraphs of directions, Boring. Text. Documents.
This is no coincidence.
If the A380 systems are shitty and out-dated, you’re probably in for a crappy flight.
If your business systems are the same, you’re probably not experiencing the type of business growth and profitability you know you’re capable of.
If your marketing and sales systems fall into this category, you’ll be experiencing a tough time indeed.
Check out Pillar #2 and the descriptions below. If your systems aren’t growing your business the way you’d like them to, book yourself a Complimentary Strategy Session and we’ll give you some tools to use straight away.
The first step in your new system overhaul, is first working out where your current systems stand. Like the 60-Point Diagnostic in Pillar 1 gives us an accurate map of where our starting point is, the Current Systems Efficacy Assessment gives a window into how your systems are working for you (an often sobering window).
Here’s a simple test.
Go to your systems folder and randomly select a business system (physical or on line).
Now assemble your team.
Announce the title of the system to your team and see how many of them can first of all FIND that system within 60 seconds.
Now poll your team…
“Put your hand up if you have read that system cover-to-cover and can execute it right now at at least a 90% accuracy.”
Sigh when only one hand goes up (the guy who wrote the system).
If they can’t find it, and don’t know it, your Needs Analysis is kind of already done. We need to chat. Stat.
We create every system so that it can be followed by a 13 year old. Literally.
Our systems analyst is a 13 year old with no experience in business. If it’s too complex for her to follow, we re-write it.
She has 60 seconds to find the system, and 60 seconds to know the first step of implementation.
This same measure is used no matter how ‘complex’ the business is.
Grab one of your systems right now, and set about re-working it into a literal step-by-step process for a 13 year old to follow.
Here’s a massive hint:
Text is the enemy or replication.
Once the Efficacy and Needs are established as a snapshot of our starting point, we then set about creating the systems template for your business and develop the first system.
The first system’s title reads:
“System for developing systems in ABC Business”
Then, once its tested for efficacy (read: does it work?), it gets passed through the design team.
Would you rather read a 4 page text document, or a 1-page info-graph that is appealing, inviting and fun?
There’s a reason why systems aren’t read. They usually suck to read!
Once you have a system to build systems, it’s got a design format and it WORKS,then it’s time to Replicate.
Use the system that builds systems, get it in the hands of all of your department heads, and start working every system in your business.
On average, a $250k company will have about 80-100 systems.
Once you hit $1m, that number goes to around 250.
Businesses that are in the $5m+ range will have somewhere in the vicinity of 400.
Lots of work to get off the ground.
It’s been said that an aircraft can use up to 40% of its fuel in take off and landing.
Loads of work to gain momentum.
In cruising, after all that work has been done, the A380 runs at around 3lt/100km – that’s better fuel efficiency than a Toyota Prius!
Do the work now in your business. Right now.
Then spend the rest of your flight tweaking and turning to go wherever you want to go.
Here’s to your success…
P.S. If you would like to chat about your business systems, drop us a line, we’d love to chat.