engaged “block & chain” employees

Another telling aphorism (a pithy observation that contains a general truth) ~ is, if I had a $dollar$ for every entrepreneur who didn't know where to start building systems, which their gut feeling demanded was a critical enterprise growth requirement, I'd belong to an obscenely profitable Business Development practice.

“build systems in areas of incompetence, stay in areas of competence.” - a mentor

Building a SoD

So, what does this mantra say?  Well, It means to us, that, as an Entrepreneurial leader, if you are competent in sales or visionary product development (or any business development System of Delivery (SoD)) that is where you should stay. Do not try to be the Financial Officer and stress, abrogate & ignore the problem, or otherwise ruin a vital Business Process that can be delivered with a delegated autonomous system.

Recently we were exposed to the thinking of  Tom Nujec in one of his TED talks (video 09:06 min). which made a huge amount  of sense to us. In this 9 minute video ~ well worth watching, but definitely, to be used to "open" your systems (business process) building workshop. Tom illuminates systematic thinking to a common task of making toast. An activity that everyone in your extended team would understand, and be able to define. We have used this video as an opening ice-breaker when we facilitate a team who was building, in fact, innovating an existing process ~ and documenting it.

The important lesson from this video is obviously the examples Tom gives to engage employees in the act of systematic thinking. However, for us, the most important take-away is a method to jointly  QUANTIFYING a new, or, INNOVATING an existing process, so that it becomes EQ ~ Enterprise Quotient. If "imposed on your folk" a newly designed process, then it would be "yours", and, in our experience has a half-life of less than 6 months. In that time, if you audit your "baby", you'll find all the corners knocked off, short cuts implemented, or worse, the system gathering dust!

Systematic thinking

We've had our own easy process/system definition which we used to start the process definition workshop. It's called, "brushing your teeth to get ready for the day!" Again, this is a common activity that everyone can relate to ~the different interpretations of what needs to be done to prepare for work are hilarious. The true value of both these activities is when the team gets involved. We feel, that it's not the quality of the outcome that is so important but the quality of the participation. What we need to achieve obviously, is that a system is defined. But, more importantly, that everyone leaves with the feeling that they have contributed, that no one has "hogged" of overwhelmed the outcome and that the result belongs to them. This is where we get buy-in that the process is theirs ~ not "world best practices" imposed from afar.

So, we have the outcome objective in place and now we need a method, a template, to define the discussion around the tasks we are trying to systematise. We have found this Process of Excellence template hard to beat. A short discussion around these 3 characteristics of excellence and then apply each of the characteristics to the problem.

  • Quantify the process on a high level, we sometimes call those milestones, but never have more that 5 milestones in a defined process. Then, quantify the tasks that deliver that milestone (no more than 7 per milestones)! For a proven delivery process look here 5/7 ProvenPath(™)
  • How will we Orchestrate the process we have defined, liken this to a music score ~ as a conductor, how to get different instruments to play their part of the music score? Try a demo/free trial of TouchStones SoP (Standard operating Procedure) documentation software!
  • Go to lunch, have everyone come back, take the process we have created and, innovate (don't discount ANY ideas, until "we" are satisfied that there is nothing we can do at this stage to produce the shortest (elapsed time) and reliable outcome (quality) that is possible.

the blockchain characteristics

Thinking about Business Development systems is always evolving. What worked for our fathers, who were locked into industrial revelution thinking, won't necessarily work for us. One of the main reasons, is that we use  people who have had a different upbringing who work based on a new altered world view.

nodes, maintain the entries (sometimes refer to as blocks) then all the nodes "see" the transaction data that has been created
the database designed to be absolutely secure and irreversible. The transaction "ledger" not even system operators have this authority
there is no central authority that "owns" the data giving approve for access or transaction formats. These are governed by a set of rules
the "structure" is created so that conflicts (between users), like double transactions are avoided. The updates occur automatically.
the distributed network requires users to reach consensus so integrity of the data is distributed so no single node can introduce malicious code

the Franchise Model

As you build your system, use these headings to see how your system will perform in each dynamic. These are not a standard, and don't even follow one of the big exponents of blockchain ~ IBM, (<- video 3:34min) but, are our example of the characteristics which should be discernible when you build and review your system. Not only are we trying to build something which "automates" the Franchise Model, but wherever possible, uses Artificial Intelligence to make the process autonomous and secure. Further reading on using the blockchain architecture will provide a simple template for building into your system these important criteria.

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Peter French

Business Coaching is not consulting, it's also not therapy. It's a unique profession that lives somewhere in between these two poles - structured to leave lasting life and business value!

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