I've concluded that the single most important thing a business can do to improve itself is to become a systems driven organization. This simply means that the key to successful execution of every activity, and subsequent result, is a system, process or procedure.
It doesn't matter what a business is or what it does. It doesn't even matter what the activity is. Every action has an underlying system or procedure behind it. The better the system, the better the result. If you don't believe me than either you haven't tried it in your business or you tried it but didn't execute correctly or effectively.
Within the Level 7 System
we have a principle called Creating Replication. The Principle of Creating Replication suggests that a business must have a system or process in place to get their systems, processes and procedures developed and installed into the business. In other words, we have a system for successfully developing systems.
Well, Jennifer Maggoire and Heather Long and the team at MCM
took me up on a challenge the other day to see how fast they could get all the systems in their business documented, tested and implemented. "The faster, the better," I suggested. (They are using the Level 7 System for Creating Replication as their system for getting the job done, fast.)
"Not only will it be good for employee morale to get a project like this completed as fast as possible but the improvements you will see in your business will blow your mind," I told them. "Your revenues will increase, profits should soar, customer's will be happier and you will have a lot less frustrations and challenges in the business. Just watch what happens!"
They took me up on the challenge and agreed they would get this phase of the Level 7 Implementation Process completed in 90 days. I believe that Jenn offered then team a night out on the town including margaritas once they complete the process. So for fun, we will call this 'The Great MCM Margarita Race'. I will be giving you regular updates on their progress and their results along the way too.
. Ready…on your marks, get set, go…!
Business owners have trust issues. It's true! If you feel trapped in someway by your business or don't believe your business can work without you – you have trust issues.
What exactly do we need to trust in order to establish freedom? What do we need to trust so we can feel confident in our business and our people?
In a typical people dependent business model, answering those questions can be quite difficult. Most of the time a business owner in that environment has to trust their people on many different levels. They have to trust their knowledge and ability to perform specific tasks and functions in the business. They have to trust their people's judgment and decision making ability. They have to be able to count on their people. They have to trust in their own ability to innovate and create a model for business that will work. Just to name a few.
In a Level 7 Business, the business owner only has to trust 2 things.
They have to trust that they have systems, procedures and processes for doing business that will produce the optimal or desired resulst. In The Level 7 System we call this The Principle of Creating Replication.
They also have to trust their people to follow the systems. In The Level 7 System we call this The Principle of Facilitating Compliance.
You can't have one without the other.
Want to get over your trust issues, build an amazing business and establish freedom? Focus on building a business based on creating the best possible systems that produce results and establishing an environment of accountability with your people.
It's really that simple.
I often write that the key to leadership is creating a compelling vision and creatively and effectively communicating it until there is an enthusiastic collective focus among the followers.
This is key. We need clarity and focus. We need a mission we can grab a hold of. We need a sense of purpose. Good leadership does this. And they do it well.
A leader must also be effective at minimizing and eliminating distractions. Distractions cause division and disharmony. Distractions cause conflict. Distractions create doubt. Distractions leave people disillusioned and then they cease to follow. Distractions cause people to question the leadership.
Leaders work on vision and create focus. When this work is not done effectively, watch out because people will get distracted.
Building a business is serious business, isn't it? When it comes to money, success, results and work there is simply no time for fun. It seems the two – work and fun – generally don't coexist together.
But does it have to be that way? We have a notion or belief, or at least I do, that if we are having fun we couldn't possibly be productive. I am probably wrong about it.
Friends, I don't have the answer to this one. I do believe that if we could make work more fun than it would be – more fun. I also believe that if a business were to decide that they would create a productive environment that was also fun that it could be done.
A vision like this requires a commitment to both objectives, creating fun and being productive.
Here is my call and charge – How are you doing it? Or how do you think a business can be successful, productive and still be fun?
What do you think? Please comment below.
My 14 year old daughter Maddison has been dancing since she was 4 or 5. She is quite good, I think. At very least I enjoy watching her. I enjoy watching her mature in her technique and abilities.
Last weekend she participated in a dance competition with her team. It's not unusual at these events to have workshops in the morning and afternoons before the evening event. These workshops are often taught by the guest judges that are brought in for the performances.
One of the judges that was there had a very impressive resume having choreographed and worked with long list of celebrities. She has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Esteffan and Madonna to name a few.
The morning after the competition, Maddison was talking to my wife about the workshops, demonstrating some of the techniques that she had learned the previous day. Here is what fascinated me. The language of dance is universal. Now I don't know dance at all but, not surprisingly, they have universal terms to describe the various moves and positions.
When the judge was working with Maddison and the other girls, she was using the exact same language or terms that they had learned in their studio here in Arizona. It made communication and understanding very easy. As a result, they were able to learn and accomplish a lot in a very short period of time.
In order for you to be effective in your business, you need to have a common language; one that the people in your business can easily understand without having to struggle to interpret. Most businesses don't have a common language. Even when we say something like "marketing" it could have different meanings. When speaking of core values often people will say we value integrity in our organization. What exactly does than mean? I could ask 10 people to define integrity and I might get 10 different interpretations and answers.
Common language begins with your vision and your goals. I recommend coming up with terms in your organization that are unique to your business. Come up with terms that people can really understand.
One of the powerful attributes of Level 7 is our use of unique and yet a common language that people that are engaged in the implementation of it understand and can embrace. Over time, the people in your organization begin to understand the language of Level 7 and ultimately begin operating according to its principles and actions.
When someone says something like, "What is the result we are looking to achieve" or "let's focus on the system," we know they are learning the language of a productive and effective business.
And what that amounts to is a beautiful dance. (You know I had to tie it back to the analogy)