Achieving work life balance needs a system!

You will often hear me talk now about creating harmony in the workplace, true harmony is when all of your processes interact with each other seamlessly to achieve a common goal. Sounds easy enough until you put people, external factors and risks/opportunities into the mix. So how am I helping with work life balance? I will enlighten you. To me ‘systems thinking’ is all about being able to understand the whole or the bigger picture. We need to put this deeper understanding into practice as we manage our day to day activities and changes that are occurring in our businesses. Do you feel that you have adequate time to do your job well and spend Quality time away from work? If the answer is no then Why? Maybe you are so consumed by what you do that the answer will not come without refocusing.

Some of us spend far too much time either fire fighting to survive or having conversations with ourselves over situations. Having precious little time and fighting the internal dialogues of our mind does not lead to us enjoying a healthy relationship with the business and a good work life balance. These are my tips to take you from surviving to thriving.

  • Take time out to relax and refocus, spend time on the business.
  • Look after you – if you are not in good health you won’t be in the right place to move forward.
  • Understand your business process, what is it that you exist to do?
  • Realise why systems are so important to creating sustainable growth.
  • Walk your process and start mapping out your business, design the way you want it to run and look like.
  • Implement systems that work for your business and your staff – involve everyone. (No forced templates)
  • Understand the risks and controls in your business, what is actually affecting your ability to deliver?
  • Prioritise – take things one step at a time – work on the things that are going to make the biggest impact to your customers and bottom line first.
  • Automate when you are able but only after you have defined the process first. For example your CRM system is not your process it is only a tool to help automate part of the Sales process.

If you need a gentle introduction to all of this then check out our new course and give yourself a different perspective on systems.

Have a great day!

Process improvement – Where do we start?

Process improvement – Where do we start?

In my experience there is always someone in the organization that has something they want to do differently or knows an improvement that just must be done. When you start on the journey this is something that you will need to manage carefully, selecting the right improvements to create impact that people can see reasonably quickly to spur on the enthusiasm. You may be surprised by the response but be reassured that when people see that there is a method and order to the way of doing it they will be patient, as long as they are getting plenty of communication. The best approach is to keep it simple – jargon and buzz word free. The more normal it feels, by this I mean no huge launch just simple communication, the more it will eventually become second nature. I plan to discuss launches later in the Year so watch out for this one I it should be a good debate.

So we need a starting point. My key advice is to be absolutely clear on what you are trying to achieve and why from the start. Most commonly there will be an area that has been the focus of many a meeting, a recent problem on a project or even a customer complaint. These start to raise the questions about why or how things are done and maybe how other companies are carrying out things differently. In my opinion the following list covers some of the key areas that gain results in the initial focus period. This is not an exhaustive list but from experience brings up key metrics that become a good measurement base when focusing on improvement.

  •  Customer Perception / Feedback
  • Efficiency of the Business Processes
  • Supplier chain relationships (Internal & External)
  • Profit and loss (Financial analysis)
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Competitor Benchmarks

You of course may find that one or more of these are not measured in a way that can be easily translated to judge performance. There is one of your starting points! Try to limit yourself on just a few areas to start off with; you can come back to this review again.

Next installment:  Focusing your goals into an improvement project..