Leaders Build Strong Systems

I love systems. My bookshelf contains several books which show the importance of processes such as The E-Myth RevisitedTraction, and Good to Great. More recent reads, Atomic HabitsYes to the Mess, and Inner Game of Work also stress the significance of systems. These books illustrate how the combination of clear systems and the ability to operate within the process leads to improved productivity. Strong organizations rely on strong systems. At Group Dynamic, we incorporate well-planned systems to ensure great work.

Transitions, like employee onboarding, exemplify the importance of robust plans.

In last week’s blog post, DeAnne shared her future plans and introduced Group Dynamic’s new Business Development Specialist, Kelly. The three of us have spent the last few weeks working together to make the transition seamless. We have a training folder with documents which include the following: 

  • Transition timelines for each person
  • Overviews for major tasks
  • Supply lists
  • Process documents
  • Training process review materials

Despite having a plan in place for everything, we have to be flexible. As I look at my transition timeline document, I note several steps I’m unable to complete as prescribed. For example, I can’t do certain tasks on the days we originally intended due to prior engagements. 

Plans and processes allow for readjustment.

If there wasn’t a clear plan with a purpose, I might freak out. In Kelly’s first five days, I missed four of them. During the next fifteen days of training, I had six engagements and several meetings, which could have been a recipe for disaster. We have a plan in place though, and I can improvise and adapt, moving elements from one day to another, like Tetris.

Systems need three strong components.

  1. A clear purpose.
  2. Documentation of the processes.
  3. People who are smart enough to stay flexible with mutual trust in each other’s expertise.

In our most recent example:

A Purpose

A smooth transition to ensure we meet the needs of our new staff member and our clients.

Documentation

Timelines, documents, and review processes to hold ourselves accountable to our clients and each other.

Trust

Above all else, trust is the crucial third component for when plans inevitably steer off course.

Strong systems coupled with capable people make for great work. When we have the confidence and trust in our people and processes, we grow by bending–not breaking–our methods.

What systems work for you?

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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