Does your organization have people problems or system problems?3 min read

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Despite all the best intentions, sometimes things go wrong in business. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Many times when something goes wrong, we first look to find fault and blame. However the answer may not be WHO caused the problem, but what system breakdown occurred.

Number 11 on ActionCOACH’s 14 Points of Culture is Systems: “I always look to the system for a solution. If a challenge arises I use a system correction before I look for a people correction. I use a system solution in my innovation rather than a people solution. I follow the system exactly until a new system is introduced. I suggest system improvements at my first opportunity.”

k12490439If you aren’t currently using systems for your business, perhaps you should consider some of the benefits. Understand that S.Y.S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Saving Yourself Stress Time Energy and Money. Think about it, where in your business are the lack of systems costing you and your team stress, time, energy and money?

Why are systems important? Because when systems are in place, everyone has a clear understanding of how policies and procedures are to be handled. Without systems, you have chaos; everyone doing things their own way or worse, not doing them at all.

Having systems for your organization will ensure checks and balances are in place to deliver top-notch products and services, meeting or exceeding your customer’s expectations. Is your company mastering the delivery of products and services with consistency? If not, before blaming an employee, take a look at your systems.

By now you’re wondering, “But coach, how many different systems should my company have in place?” As many as it takes until your business can run itself! It’s all about systemizing the routine. When everyone in the organization is on the same page, efficiencies and productivity improve because no one is trying to invent their own way of doing things.

Take McDonald’s, a Big Mac consists of two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun. Everyone who works at McDonalds knows this recipe (including those of us who had this commercial ingrained in our brains as kids), and a Big Mac tastes exactly the same in New York City as it does in China. Why? Because of systems! What would happen if an employee at McDonald’s came to work and made the Big Mac with one all-beef patty along with their personal version of “special sauce” because there was no system in place? Consistency would be lost, customers would complain and sales would decline, right? As the manager of McDonalds, you wouldn’t blame the employee for their creativity you would blame the lack of systems for installing the recipe.

The four key areas to systemize in any business:
1. People & Education
2. Delivery & Distribution
3. Testing & Measuring
4. Systems & Technology

A final note about installing systems; systems are all about consistency, they will not work if you follow them some of the time. This creates confusion and defeats the purpose of having systems in the first place. Systems need to be followed ALL of the time! If something still isn’t working right in your company just look and tweak the system. So, if your organization seems somewhat chaotic and things are slipping through the cracks, talk to your business coach about examining your systems and he will teach you how to Save Yourself Stress Time Energy and Money.