Motivation to make systems?…meh.


Why do so many independent businesses struggle with effective systems?

I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of an aversion to the word, “system”, possibly because of The System. The words we use to create and document methods of saving time and energy seem to have a bureaucratic connotation…procedure, process, controls, plan, structure, organization, rule, fixed order, etc. It’s boring. But then, in my experience, most of the workplaces that were well-systemized tended toward the bureaucratic. Is this the problem? Semantics?


Motivation to create designs?…deal me in.


We can get around this by thinking of systems as designs that streamline your workplace to make it more harmonious. Would you be more motivated to dive into designing a more effective workplace? I would…simply writing that word makes me want to draw something. Semantics aside, the main point here is the effectiveness of the design, and of how the end product will function in the real world, just like building a piece of furniture.

Let’s use as an example the system that is the least pleasant to most entrepreneurs I know, that can get them into the most trouble; let’s talk about financials. Accountants are, in general, operating in a logical universe. That’s what makes them good at it. Let them work in the systems world to your benefit and ask them to explain things that you don’t understand. The person you will mostly be working with is your bookkeeper – still logical, but probably more adaptable and flexible. Instead of setting up a system, how about designing a workflow with him or her that includes communication with your accountant. It’s the same thing, but it feels better, right?


An Effectively Designed Workplace


Your team knows what works, what doesn’t and where it would be great to have some cheat sheets or manuals. They know what it is like to learn the ropes and figure it out as they go along. Now, if you bring them together and say, “We are going to document our systems, processes and procedures,” they will give you that look. What if you brought them together and asked them to help? “I would really appreciate your help in designing more effective workflows and better ways to deliver our (product or service) because you know better than anyone what needs improvement. Let’s shut the doors next Monday and have an idea jam. I’ll buy lunch.”


If you would like guidance on ‘idea-jamming’, how to map out systems and pretty much any aspect of your business with your team, and bring it all together, stay tuned for the launch of the workshop series, A Workplace That Works.

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