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Get the Hell Out of the Hourglass – Part 7

Posted by Amy Lynch on January 26, 2023

Systems, processes, and people are the next steps toward squeezing your way out of the hourglass. So, whenever our organization has a recurring problem or a huge problem, we develop systems with our people that widen that pinch point. I never say, “Here is the new system.” 

Instead, I state the reality of the problem and explain the urgency for a solution. My folks come up with the systems. After all, they will run it, so it needs to be their solution.

Write it all down!

An essential step out of the hourglass is to document, document, document. Document what is in your head, how you do things, and the ideal script of how a customer experiences you. And then you’ve got to communicate that over and over to your team. It must be abundantly clear how to do things in your company’s system.

If there’s a problem on the job, your first question is, “What part of the system didn’t work? Do we need to fix a system?”

Or, if we didn’t have a system for that problem, we need to create one, write it down, and communicate it. Create systems! No matter what size you are, get it out of your head and into an operations manual, job description, or policy, and train your people about it. That doesn’t mean I bark orders and treat people like my subordinates; it means I stand clear and watch them run the system. 

For your business or organization to run as you envision, it is essential that you document your systems and teach them to everyone, so your customers get a superior, uniform experience. Examine your business to see what is done over and over – giving estimates, decorating cakes, directing traffic, creating spreadsheets, balancing the books, etc. Pick the most critical task and create a system. Write it down. Train your people to the system. Be clear with desired outcomes, and get out of the way! 

Don’t micromanage (soon, we’ll talk about empowering your employees and delegating responsibilities through decentralization), or you will be stuck in the bottleneck again. Instead, let your people run the system.

See you Monday! Build muscle.

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