Over the past decade, the entrepreneurial world has seen a significant increase in the availability, and use of, business operating systems like EOS®, Scaling Up®, Pinnacle Business Guides, and Next Level Growth® to help entrepreneurs and their leadership teams run better businesses.
While companies utilizing a business operating system will almost always, in the long-term, outperform competitors who do not use a system, there is one common component of almost every business operating system that is both extremely important yet often the lowest priority in the organizations who use them…Process.
Why does Process take a back seat in most organizations? Because the urgent gets in the way of the important. Ironically, that is exactly why you need to focus on process.
Most leadership teams in organizations running on a business operating system like EOS, Scaling Up, Pinnacle, Next Level Growth or one of the many other systems out there, find themselves so busy firefighting that they deprioritize process documentation and optimization, even though it is one of the most important tenets of their operating system’s model. Ironically, optimizing their process playbooks and training is the very thing that would eliminate so much of the firefighting that is keeping them from doing the work to get them done and operationalized in the first place.
The Empty Chair Metaphor…
One of our client’s COO’s recently shared an idea they tried to drive the importance of prioritizing Process Playbooks with their Leadership Team and CEO. It was November of 2022. The COO of the company was having difficulty getting her CEO and the rest of the leadership team to really buy in to the idea that they needed to prioritize 2023 as the “Year of Process Playbooks.”
To make her point and get her CEO and team to see what they were missing, she started adding an empty chair at the conference table for their weekly tactical meetings. On the backrest of the chair, facing the table and the team, she taped a large piece of paper with the word “PROCESS” written on it in big, bold letters. The team found it odd when they came in for their first meeting with the new seat at the table, but they proceeded as normal.
When it came time in the agenda for issues solving, for each issue they prioritized to tackle where she felt the real issue was their lack of Process, she would point to the “Process Seat” and ask the team, “Is this issue actually “their” fault?”
Much to the team’s surprise, the more often she did this, the more they realized that if they focused on process, rather than the dozens of different “symptoms” they often focused on and talked about, their issues list would be much shorter, they would be fighting fewer fires, and they would have more time to elevate to a more strategic focus on growing the business.
As the meetings progressed over the following few weeks, the team became more and more aligned around the reality that many of their issues were rooted in a lack of clear, optimized processes that their employees could easily follow. That gap, a result of their procrastination around working to improve their process documents and training, was creating the bulk of busy work that was causing the majority of their frustrations.
A key question to ask yourself…
If somebody were buying your business and they asked to see your process playbooks and training, would the quality of those documents, whether digital or physical, allow you to negotiate an increase in valuation because they are of such great quality and impact, or would the buyer see them and be able to negotiate a decrease in value because they are so weak or non-existent?
Let that question resonate. If you know that your business would be more valuable with optimized process playbooks and training, and if you know that your current state process playbooks are not helping increase the value of your organization, then what are going to do about it? As a leader, it is your job to make decisions and take action.
While your organization is completely capable of documenting your processes on your own, the reality is, you probably dabble in process at best. Because of that, you will likely spend anywhere from nine months to nine years getting your processes documented, and you will almost certainly end up with a mediocre result. It is not your expertise or what you do every day. The time, energy, and fully burdened payroll it costs you to take the “do-it-yourself” approach will likely produce a very low return on investment.
What if there was a better way? A way to get full teams of people within the organization involved and engaged in helping not only define and document your processes but optimize them along the way…reducing wasted effort…improving the steps and handoffs…establishing clear triggers and optimal outcomes…improving scorecards and data through a better understanding of process and what to measure.
What if you and your teams could do that in just 90-to-120-minute breakouts, engaging team members all the way from leadership to front-line employees, spread over a 2-day period, as part of a workshop facilitated by a Lean Certified expert? What if that facilitator would then take all of the work done over those two days and produce and deliver your process documents within just 7 days of the onsite workshop? Would that be easier than the “do-it-yourself” approach? Having your process document in hand, and truly optimized, in just nine days, versus nine months to nine years?
Our friends at Process Optimizer® do just that. They have helped hundreds of companies using EOS, Scaling Up, Pinnacle, and Next Level Growth create outstanding playbooks for a fraction of the time and expense those companies would have incurred doing it on their own. In addition, they also remain engaged as a resource for an entire year following the delivery of the documents to make sure that you and your team have everything necessary to get your processes fully implemented into both initial and recurring training as well as ongoing continuous improvement. As with anything, it’s not about the idea or the tool, but how well you optimize and operationalize it that makes all the difference.
- Learn more about Process Optimizer®
Not ready to reach out to the Process Optimizer team just yet? Take our Business Health Checkup and see how you score, especially in the section on Playbooks. We won’t bombard you with unwanted emails. You’ll just get a great self-assessment of how you’re performing and, only if you want it, a free, no-obligation call with one of our elite Next Level Growth Business Guides™ to discuss your results and learn some things you can do to Take Your Business, and Your Life, to the Next Level™.
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If you want to go far, go together.
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