The only real way to simplify business is by implementing control systems! Whereby, holding all personnel in the organization accountable to company processes.
With that in mind, I recently read an article in CIO Magazine, titled “In Search of Simplicity,” about large companies—i.e., General Electric—looking for ways to SIMPLIFY their departments and software solutions.
Business owners often look under a lot of “rocks”, before finding simple solutions, to what might seem, impossible problems, in their businesses.
The ANSWER—or SOLUTION—can be right in front of some owners, and yet somehow they miss it!
Over the years, various software and technical applications have been added to our lives. To make life more complicated, each one of these solutions requires updating and/or backing-up, from time to time. In fact, many businesses use as many as 20 different software solutions to run operations. For this reason, IT solutions companies are growing at a rapid pace.
As I was reading the CIO article and agreeing with most of what it conveyed, I recounted the many phone calls we receive from businesses; those seeking SIMPLE solutions for cleaning up the chaos and waste in their operations. “We’re just searching for SIMPLE!” they say.
Solution for Chaos and Waste | Push-back
Recently, I gave a demonstration of our software to a business owner and his top manager seeking a quick-fix; a solution to the errors and miscommunications they were encountering. The duo wanted to know the most simple way to fix their frustrations and build business processes via an operations manual.
With this in mind, I led the online demo—showing them step-by-step solutions for each specific frustration. At one point, the manager became noticeably quiet. So, I decided to stop the demo, and ask THEM, some questions.
“What do you think about the solutions we’ve been discussing for the past hour?”, I asked.
The owner said, “honestly, I think it will take a lot of time to implement these control systems you showed us!”
Finally, the manager spoke up. “Philip, I see where you’re going, but we can’t get our people to do what they’re supposed to do, NOW! If we add quality control and these other solutions, they just won’t do it. Besides, it seems complicated and will take time to implement.”
I asked the manager, “Did you have any interruptions today from your employees?”
“Yes,” he admitted with a deep sigh, “In fact, I haven’t been able to do my OWN work, due to all the interruptions.”
“So, how do you think you will you EVER stop that problem?” I asked.
“I don’t know!” he answered, revealing his hopelessness.
For encouragement, I began to relate success stories about our company, and other companies that have implemented systems, to manage chaos and waste. However, at some point business owners must decide to move forward or continue bogged down in the mundane!
Simplify Business by Eliminating Interruptions
To be fair, the comments from the owner and manager, just mentioned, were pretty much the norm. Which is, dealing with problems VERBALLY, by repetition. In other words, the processes for how to run their business, is all in their heads. Therefore, they become the CENTRAL HUB, for company HOW TO information.
As with many owners and managers—THEY are the system. Sadly, that will NEVER simplify business; it only makes business management more complicated!
In fact, reminding me that having “Many Mini-Me’s” may be their only hope.
By handling ONE problem or ONE non-conforming event at a time, the solution really can be SIMPLE. However, dealing with each non-conformance ASAP is a Must. Or, chaos returns again and again, as errors and unnecessary interruptions.
The good new is!
Employee interruptions from those seeking HOW TO information about their job, will diminish, when that information is easily accessible, without supervision.
Simple Can be Hard | But Very Rewarding
Sometimes getting to SIMPLE is HARD, in the short term. As a result, many will NOT pay the price for simple. As a result, opting to do things the “easy” way, a circular path that leads to continual frustration and waste.
We’ve found, over the past many years of helping businesses bring order from chaos, that REAL SOLUTIONS ARE SIMPLE (Not rocket science!)—but, for the first year, it’s not always, EASY. Yes, it takes time—however, the effort ultimately is rewarding and sustainable, and much easier than dealing with the frustrating and time-consuming complications of chaos.
Did I mention? Great systems work!