Most of my clients have never really put any time or energy towards documenting or even thinking about the way they are doing their work.
Which is why they end up needing to hire me.
Most people are focused on what they do, who their audience is, and what they plan to do next. Rather than how they're going to reach their goals and the specific processes that they plan to use to complete the tasks required to reach their goals.
Which is why most business and organisations are inefficient and chaotic. Especially in the early days of success.
Good operations, effective systems, and elegant processes are only possible with regular and consistent attention. In fact, the more often you review a process the better it gets!
The more time that you can allocate to thinking about the way you are doing your work, the better you can equip your the different functions, teams and roles of your organisation with the tools they need for success.
I know it can seem like there are not enough hours in the day, but this is necessary work. Working on your operations is as important as doing your monthly bookkeeping, filing your tax returns, or your marketing and sales efforts.
On the bright side this is work that will quickly pay-off!
Regularly reflecting on and refining your processes will help you to identify the repeatable actions that can be templated and the standard processes that can be automated, so it is in your best interest to create space in your organization to support that work.
But you are never going to get buy in for yet another meeting, right?!
The most successful way I have seen is to start by simply adding an agenda item to a regular meeting that is already established. Ask people what they like and what they like least about the jobs that they do. What are the tasks that they find frustrating?
This is where you're going to find your high-priority places for improvement and the only way that you're going to know about them is to create the space to talk about it.
Once you've added this agenda item to your standing staff meeting you will soon find that there's not enough time to cover everything. Once you open the door to allow people to bring up issues of process and bring up suggestions for improvement, you are going to open the floodgates for input and feedback, and this is what you want!!
Don't be afraid to get feedback from your team about what is not working.
This is where you will allow elegance to come into your operations design. The more perspectives and the more inputs that you get into creating a process the more elegant and more fulsome it's going to be.
Processes developed from multiple perspectives will address the minutia of the task and more fully support your staff much better than a process developed by one single person, so you want as much feedback as you can get!
Once you add this new agenda item, it will very quickly become obvious that you need dedicated time to do this work. And those folks who are active in this discussion will already be invested in putting the necessary time and effort into this important work.
Which will pay off richly for you because the folks who are keen are going to be the people who will propel you to your goals and beyond. They will be your super users, your top performers, and the internal leaders that you need.
Who knows, you might even find your future operations director in the mix.
So add a process and systems discussion agenda item to your next staff meeting today!