"Systemise the predictable so you can humanise the exceptional"
A recent article written by Mike Kotsis reminded me of a recent client conversation. When asked what his ideal scene was for 2017 he quoted “less stress, less time at work wearing other people’s hats, a consistency in service delivery, scalability, higher moral and of course more profit.
As Jim Collins said, “Magic occurs when you combine a spirit of entrepreneurialism with a culture of discipline.” So keep an open mind and let’s see what kind of magic is in store for your company in 2017. This is not a company handbook or procedures manual, let me walk you through the three steps.
A big ask? No not really, for many, one of the keys to achieving these goals is often a three step exercise of identifying, documenting, and following your company’s key Processes. It’s not a sexy solution, but it’s incredibly powerful because as a company grows....................... it naturally becomes more complex.
1) Identify Your Company’s Core Processes
Your core processes are your way of doing business. Every company has a handful of core processes that make the business run. Usually these include:
The HR process — the way your company hires, manages, reviews, rewards, promotes, retains, and fires people
The Marketing process — the way your company gets your message to your target market audience and generates leads for your salespeople
The Sales process — the way your company converts a prospect into a customer
The Operations process —the way your company makes the product or provides the service to your customer
The Accounting process — the way your company manages the flow of money coming in and going out
The Customer Retention process — the proactive way your company takes care of your customers to keep them happy, coming back, and generating referrals for you
On average, my clients conclude on 4 to 10 core processes for their business. Even when using an organising board you do not need 25+ core processes—this is being way to analytical and overthinking it. For many businesses they are able to simplify it down to four: 1) People Process 2) Get Work 3) Do Work 4) Accounting. Everything else will fit within these four areas. These process areas work well in with businesses whether they are running a company organisational chart, EOS accountability chart or the HMS organising board.
2) Document Each Core Process
Document your core processes using a 20/80 approach: just document the important 20% that will give you 80% of the positive results. This isn’t a detailed training manual, think high-level. Each process should be between 1-10 pages (checklists or bullet points).
Your processes need to be usable on the fly, in the heat of the moment. If they’re too detailed, they won’t get used—and errors will erode your profit. By the same token, if they don’t contain the essential steps, key things will get missed—again, resulting in mistakes and errors.
3) Make Your Processes Followed By All
Everyone in your organization needs to understand your Core Processes, and they all need to be following them. Otherwise, your business will be pushing and pulling against itself, or you’ll have gaps that aren’t covered, and your effectiveness will suffer.
Follow these best practices to ensure your processes are followed by all:
Put it in a binder or in a shared electronic folder (cloud or LAN) to make it accessible for all.
Schedule a meeting to share your way of doing business with everyone in your company.
Retrain everyone to follow your newly documented core processes.
Manage everyone in the organization to follow your processes.
Gino Wickman says it best: “Systemize the predictable so you can humanize the exceptional.” When the essential predictable steps are documented in a simple high-level approach, it eliminates reinventing the wheel and frees up your people to creatively solve problems.
Founders and leadership teams who go through these three steps consistently tell me that they have more peace of mind, their business is easier to manage, they’re more efficient, errors and mistakes are reduced, the business is more profitable, and everyone is having more fun on a daily basis.