System + Processes

Companies and teams can work like a well-oiled machine. It does not have to be chaotic at work. A lot of misery can be put to rest if people at companies documented processes and systems in place. When I consult with companies, this is one of the first things I look for. How prepared is this company to scale?

People create processes (the way they work) but never document them.

Is it because they are afraid that their job will be dispensible now that they have given an exact blueprint of how they work and what needs to be done? Are they lazy to get this done because “why bother, the works getting done” mentality? This to me is a “hoarders” mindset - people who want to protect their jobs at any cost. These people stick to the same routine and seldom grow. They love the comfort of repetative tasks that have a predictable outcome.

Instead, companies need people who learn, teach others let go and grow. You don’t need to move between jobs at a company but by creating processes (documenting, letting go or improving the way you work) you can get your current work done more efficiently and can focus on higher-value core work. For example, a manager who is spending most of his week fire-fighting with clients and co-ordinate with vendors can set up systems so that others in his team (or a new employee in the future) can help him do some of the busy work while he uses his  energy on more important work!

Here are a few examples of processes that you can think of creating to speed up work and save time:

  • Document outlining what to do when your website/servers go offline so you are not scrambling when shit hits the roof!

  • A document for the next feature in your software project so programmers have all the specs needed (gathers from all the stakeholders at once) to get the project done well before the deadline. 

  • A writer’s manual outlining common mistakes and the overall tone for the company/brand so that as you scale and hire more writers the tone and message of the content will remain in-sync.

Systems and processes are cogs in a company. It just depends on how well-oiled they are!

Build it for yourself

An interesting observation came up while having dinner at a friend’s place last evening.

They had made Italian. The spaghetti came out on the dining table, and we plated up. I tasted it and found it pretty good — with the perfect hint of spice. But, my close friend preferred to have the spaghetti sauce a little bit chunkier. Someone else wanted it their way. My wife looks at me. This incident is the perfect case of ‘featuritis’ (coincidentally, just a couple of hours back I was telling her how difficult it is to please every Brightpod customer). Here, we were four of us (similar tastes, backgrounds, etc.) and couldn’t agree on the perfect spaghetti then how could we expect everyone (from more than 110 countries) signing up for Brightpod to be satisfied with what we have to offer them?

Pleasing everyone is impossible.

So don’t! Make the dish that you like and attract people who like what you like.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” — Bill Cosby

Practice

I play a much better round of golf every time I spend approximately 20 minutes practicing. Practicing gets my body warmed up (especially the back which tends to get stiff in the mornings) and ignites muscle memory . I am struggling (for the first few holes) on the days I don’t practice and dash out to the 1st hole. We all know the important of practice but how do you practice at business? How do you warm up?

Do more deals?

Hustle?

You can’t practice at business. You are live. Every move matters. The more you do it the better you get. Your learn from failures. You fall and you get up.

Isn’t that what they call wisdom?