As you know, business is tough at the best of times, never mind the strange times we are currently living in and then trying to get everything in your business working for you and not against you.. You and your team work tirelessly day in day out to keep moving products or services in right direction, that is to get them to your customers.. But then you hit barriers and brick walls that slow down the process, for example a sign off process as your IT system was giving you headaches, and in some cases cause you to be late with a delivery..
Do you think your customer cares that your IT system went down for a short period of time…?
I see so many companies that build process on top of process, system on top of system and very quickly things can get out of control and you feel your business is just bolted together bit by bit, when one screw goes lose, everything comes toppling down..
We’ve all had those moments, and they can leave a scar..
Scaling a business always comes with teething issues. Scaling can be scary full stop. But being a little strategic and a with little consideration, it doesn’t have to be.
Enter People Process Technology
Unfortunately these situations are more common than we would like, quite often we consider things in isolation and with that, things have a habit of contradicting each other not complementing. In business, everything is so interlinked, especially in small business, 1 issue in 1 place, will no doubt have an implication in another part.
With that there are simple strategies / views that you can consider when changing something, whether it’s people, process or technology
For example, you can add rules or guidelines so that when you add a piece of software, change a process, move people around that they have to compliment, things like
- Software / technology can’t be added if it’s going to slow down the process
- No automation if it’s going to add lots of management and ultimately slow down the process
- Only move people where it will add value to them and the process
- ..to name but a few…
These type of guidelines will make you step back and think about things in a more strategic fashion and ensure your business will grow in a controlled and systematic fashion thus preventing issues down the road.
Getting the right Balance – Video Transcript
Hi, Shay Lynch here, director of Future State. And today I wanna about looking at your business from a macro, helicopter view, and looking down. ‘Cause when I work with companies, my goal is always to solve their problems. Sometimes they don’t even know they have problems, until I’ve done an assessment, and then I’m there to help them improve that situation, eradicate that problem, or mitigate it, or even turn it, that problem, into an opportunity, that’s what I do. But over the years, I’ve uncovered a number of patterns of what I see that’s wrong when I work with companies. And it helps me strategize how I can find things quickly, right. So I wanna share one of those ideas with you on how I help companies, and therefore how you can help yourself and your business. So one way of looking at your business, if you’re taking a helicopter view and looking down, so you’re removing yourself, you’re looking in, from, at an angle, at a distance, into your business, you’re not looking from the inside of your business, and that’s really important because, very often, you have different areas, will do different things, and sometimes, over time, things grow organically, and things become unbalanced. And things end up contradicting each other. So, what I wanna talk about is a number of strategies today that will help you and guide you in terms of all the different areas of your business, and the different, maybe, even projects or simple tasks that you can set off to ensure that you’re taking a holistic approach to your business. And the improvement of its current situation, right. So, we’ll look at people, process, technology. And obviously, in today’s world, we need to ensure that we’ve got everything balanced, not contradicting, right. But just, at a very high level, what are the different areas that we look at? So obviously we look at the three, separately, the people, process now, but then, the intersections of people technology, process and people, and process technology, and then that sweet spot in the middle, which is what I’ll come to at the very end, what does that mean. Okay. So, we start with people, right. So you wanna do something with your people. And, before I go any further, I just wanna say, obviously you cannot do everything at once. You still need to run a business, so please do this in a very systematic and timely view. One thing at a time, and work on it well. When you’re happy, when you’ve got results, move on to the next. So just be mindful that you still have to run a business, don’t do it all at once. So we talked about people, right? So what do you want? Do you want a culture of people helping each other? Do you want people comradery? You want the support, or if people are in trouble, you want their colleagues to support them, then you have to engage with them, and support, and breathe that into your business, okay. It is so important to get people helping each other. And I’ve done many videos on this in the past, so please look through my library of videos, ’cause there’s great strategies where you can get this synergy between the people. And I’m talking about the law of reciprocation. People helping each other, and when you’ve got that, that’s where the magic happens within your processes, ’cause once you look after your people, your people look after everything else. So get that right, that’s always a great starting point. Anytime, or anything, and to continually review and assess it, right. And it’s important that your people are learning. They can’t just be going in to exchange time for money. They need to be getting something back, and we’ll come onto that, in a minute. But then, if you go straight to technology, right. Technology, obviously that’s a growing element of business in this world, there’s so many softwares or services that you can apply. You can apply in your business and, the problem I see here is that, there’s so many systems, so many things, you’re being sold by salespeople these great messages, and they are great messages, they do wonderful things. But how do you know how to use something that will be a wonderful output to your business? And that is the issue, because, I see so many situations where software has overtaken and people have forgotten what the purpose is, and, one example is CRM systems. Customer relationship management systems, for sales, managing your sales pipeline and funnel. Customer relationship management is a process, not a piece of software, but now 80% of people’s time is managing software and not the people, or the customers within their file. So, please be mindful of how you use software. Therefore, it has to purpose-led. You have to have a reason, a justification, of why you’re putting it in. And not only that, that you’re only using the elements that make sense to your business, because, software can do so much, it can solve every nitty-gritty problem, but you may not have that problem, so please don’t get stuck in the software, or the technology, whatever it is, it has to be purpose-led, it has to absolutely improve the value of what you’re doing in the first place, and it has to be effective. It has to be very good at doing it. It cannot be difficult to use, it has to be simple, right? And then processes, right. I’m a process person. I’m an engineer, I’m a manufacturing engineer by trade. Process is everything to me. Right? So, key to process is to make it, or make them all effective. They have to be effective. They have to be always improving, and delivering on value, and you do that by ensuring that there’s simple guidelines that everyone can use. And I call it the stranger story. If you have people out, say on sick leave, that are just, call in sick, do you have a way of training other people to do that job? Or use that process, while there’s a gap. So you need to have a way of rinse and repeating, have people cross-trained so you’re always moving, the process is always moving, it’s not stagnant. And you need to have simple guidelines, so if I’m a stranger coming in, that I can very simply understand what is being said, and with a bit of discovery, I can work it with the process. Keep it so simple. And there’s many ways to do this. And then also, it has to be data-driven. Always data-driven. You want to drive continued performance improvements and continued effectiveness, so you need to understand this word called feedback. What did we do well? What did we not do well? How do we make it better next time? How do we continually improve those variables, to get better output from your process, right? So that’s the people, process and technology. So you can straightaway start trying to improve the culture, making sure whatever you purchase or you have already, is purpose-led, you’ll have a requirement set out. And then you’re continually driving improvement with your process, that anyone can use in your business, right. So now let’s look at these three cross-overs, so again, when you’re talking about people and technology, it has to be simple and efficient. That has to be an absolute must. You have to ensure that whatever interfaces they are being applied or implemented, are simple and efficient. You’re also gonna make sure that whatever you’re doing with technology, if you’re inputting data into a system, that you’re gonna put in meaningful data to get great management information out. You have to really drive that improvement, because if you don’t have simple and efficient, and excuse my crudeness, but shit in, shit out. It’s as simple as that. You need to have great inputs to get fantastic outputs that will drive improvements through your processes. And, they’re also customer-led processes too, like in sales. And again, it has to be easy to use. So it’s important, excuse me, to ensure that that synergy is there. Otherwise, if this is really hard to do, people won’t use it correctly. And you will not get good inputs, and therefore, when you’re looking at data to try and drive improvement with data, it’s telling you the wrong information. It has to be easy to use. So make that a must when you’re looking at any piece of software to support anything in your business. Okay. So process and technology. Again, these need to be complementary. Whatever you’re putting into technology here, to get good information from your processes, it has to support strong outputs. So whatever metrics you’re coming at, and again, I’ve talked about metrics many, in many different videos, you need to be really mindful of key performance indicators. And I mean those minute few, there could be three to five, not every performance indicators– you can’t measure everything, because if you measure everything, and you have every performance indicator, those key get lost. You don’t which are the really, the ones that are gonna drive improvements in your business for your customers, for your people, and your processes. So it’s really important to ensure, whatever you’re doing here has to support strong outputs. And then finally, people process. This is probably the one I would be close to most. It has to be all about development, both the process and the people. And you do that by ensuring there’s good learning and development going on, so people are not just the people using certain processes, other people are learning how to use process, not necessarily in their own area. And I mentioned it in another video, about having collaborators in your business. So, do you have someone that’s training, not just in marketing, but in sales, and they’re declared the cross-over where you know that you’re gonna get drive good outputs from marketing, lead generation, to drive good leads into the sales funnel. So, all about cross-skilling, and then honestly, making sure there’s career path. So I’m not just talking about the processes on the round. I’m talking about the management processes too. There has to be careers, so if you want the people to be happy and to stay in your business, you need to develop strong processes and career paths, to engage them, and keep them wanting to have the same vision as you. And then finally, the sweet spot. Well this, when you do everything well, around the different circles here, people, processes, and then into cross-overs, what is the goal. This is your raison d’etre, so, if you get those balances right, finding the balance, the goal is to have strong performing processes run by strong performing people, that will deliver good and strong outputs for your customers. You’re gonna have strong customer journeys, you’re gonna have happy, engaged people, and you got everything balanced in, to deliver whatever your raison d’etre for your business is. So. To recap, okay. When you’re looking at your business, when you’re looking to take a holistic view, a helicopter view of how do you develop your business. Look at the people, process, technology element first. Break it down. Develop different strategies to support improving people, improving process technology, right. That’s the first. But then you gotta make sure that everything complements in here, in this complement, and here. It’s so important to make sure that they’re not growing organically, and away from each other, they’re growing systematically. So. Over to you. What are you going to do today, in your business, to support this model of improving every element of your business? I hope this makes sense. And if there’s any questions, please get in touch, so in the meantime, this is Shay Lynch, saying thanks for listening.