So, you own a business! Will it have a lasting positive effect on all those you encounter?
It takes a business built on truth to accomplish that.
Customers, employees, vendors, and family, at some point will recognize the substantial difference between a truth-built business; versus a typical small business.
My first encounter with truth in business came while reading a well-known business book, in which the author made the following statement…
“You are the problem, you have always been the problem, and you will always be the problem, until you change!”
For context, the author was speaking of owners who blame others for the chaotic culture in their business. Personally, I needed that two-by-four to the head!
That was an eye-opening moment for me. A realization calling for a total change of course. Otherwise, our business would continue NOT living up to the standards we claimed.
Truth was, we were not delivering jobs and services on time as promised; not following-up with people after guaranteeing we would. And countless other promises that slipped through the cracks. We used our busyness as the excuse.
Yep, it was time to change, or keep on lying to myself and others.
To be fair, as humans we are prone to forget, which is forgivable. However, when it is a matter of standard practice, it is not alright! Make no mistake, others know and can see that truth/honesty doesn’t exist in this type of culture.
Systemizing Truth in Business
When making the all-important decision to systemize our business to prove quality and, more importantly, to live up to our promises, it was scary.
Nevertheless, the decision was made to systemize our business, over continuing the LIE. We wanted our words to be our pledge.
We began by systemizing workflow processes, up steam and downstream. Ultimately, we were able to PROVE quality; not just claim quality. And apologies for poor quality were no longer needed.
Next step was to work on cleaning our facility systemically, where it represented our values. As John Wesley preached, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Looking for perfection, we named this cleanup effort, The 100% System of Cleanliness.
An important next step was implementing employee daily routine systems, so employees didn’t have to rely on memory to perform ALL tasks and processes.
Forgetting was no longer an option or an excuse for recurring mistakes.
Surprisingly, this stopped the constant stream of questions from employees looking for answers about how to do their job. Make no mistake, an employee daily routine system frees up hours of time for managers and owners.
Actually, this system allows employees to manage themselves.
Corrective Action is a Matter of Truth
When mistakes or any non-conformance occur after beginning systemization, this is the point at which your efforts, determination, and TRUTH-seeking are put to the test.
To be clear, a corrective action system in business is a system for finding TRUTH, no matter the cost. Moreover, a system for truthful reporting of facts, exposes wimpy bosses, and identifies non-conforming employees.
Therefore, when asking employees the reason for a mistake, you can assure them you are not looking for excuses, but searching for the mistake’s root cause. The TRUTH!
Only when digging down to the truth of any non-conformance, are you able to fix it, systematically.
Truth sometimes offends, exposes, and embarrasses. But it will ultimately set you and your business free from chaos. It also identifies your best, most diligent employees.
Importantly, an owner must NEVER retreat from any intimidation by employees when searching and reporting the TRUTH.
Did I mention? Great systems work!