Fluff, in the speakers mind, could relate to esoteric concepts such as value, passion, planning; some synonyms such as the occult; secret; arcane; cryptic; impenetrable come to mind. Almost all new entrepreneurs exposed to Business Development come with an idea of what constitutes “their” problem. They have very much a “burning platform” in mind, save me they say, give me a solution to “this!”
There was a TV advert that trumpeted that the “Breakfast of Champions” ~ was a breakfast cereal called Jungle Oats, but in business we KNOW that what makes Champions is Immediate and Positive feedback. Try this “ice breaker” at your next team get-together; send two volunteers out of the room and gather the team around the very simple maze that you have taped to the floor using duct tape ~ everyone has seen it and is wondering “what is going on now?” Call the first volunteer back into the room and blindfold them at the entrance of the maze; give them these directions; If you hesitate to move, or if you move the wrong way, you will be beaten over the head with this rolled-up newspaper.
Let the experiment begin.
Being deprived of the sight of the maze the volunteer hesitates, what should I . . . and promptly gets the negative and humiliating feedback. 99% never make it through the maze. Bring in the next volunteer and blindfold them at the entrance to the maze. The manager is now given a simple “Christmas cracker” whistle, mine sounds like a canary song, with the instructions to give feedback when the subject does something right. The hesitation is there but no feedback ensues, turn left – no whistle; turn right, a gentle twitter! 99% make the maze in under a minute!
So should you move away from spending on systems? What has feedback got to do with fixing an evident problem? Wanting it fixed, with not wanting to do the hard work of understanding the underlying cause of the problem ~ the root cause! Why not just build the system and be done with it? Having built and delivered best of breed systems for more than a decade, our consulting practice was making a good living – we were respected and our pipeline of potential customers grew without effort ~ our delivery drove clients to the front door. But then, we found EMyth, and decided to survey our clients over the last 10 years of delivery. The buyer loved us; everyone had good things to say about our method, professionalism, and outcomes. But, when we went into the enterprise ~ in 100% of the customers where we had delivered (this wasn’t a statistical survey) ~ we didn’t find ONE where our “world best practice system” had survived intact and 80% had lost the system entirely!
consistency is the only currency
A system is not just the definition of the work to be done, but has other attributes that make the system a place where people live, perform and come back day after day to deliver greater quality and quantity (the only two measures of a successful system) becoming more effective and efficient. (see white paper – the 7 step system development model) Instead of “forcing down” a world best practice system, build one with your people. Get buy-in and ownership by following a few simple rules, structuring the system as a “position outcome” that faithfully articulates your expectations of the position as well as the expectations of your customers.
Create 4 simple “attributes” per task and link the tasks together serially to produce the desired outcome. We could teach you for free ~ pro bono, to do this in just under an hour and you could implement it in every field of endeavour in your company from cash control to the sales process. What would it feel like to have exactly the right system fitting your business, owned and executed by your fully engaged staff? We know, you can forget best practices ~ own practices win every time!