A systems approach to business is based on the idea of “ever more with ever less,” according to ActionCoach CEO and founder Brad Sugars. It gives your business a real competitive edge by allowing you to increase the speed of production, reduce rework, and make better use of resources.
“A system is never the sum of its parts; it’s the product of their interaction.”
– Russell L. Ackoff, management consultant
Systems are made up clearly defined, interconnected parts, each with their own set of goals, that work together to improve efficiencies and allow your business to leverage information and data, marketing investments, and even the skills of the employees across the business.
A valuable benefit of a systems approach is that it’s not dependent on top-down micro-management. A well-organized and supported system frees the business owner/leader from being the source of all information and involvement in every single decision and process. You’ll know you have a good system in place when you don’t have to be there for your business to operate at its best.
In a system, each part is set up to communicate and interact with all other parts in a methodical manner to leverage information, data and resources for the most efficient and cost-effective outcomes. A system has prompts in place to prevent “dropped” opportunities and missed communications from occurring.
To create system efficiencies in your business, you need an organization that empowers your employees to work together seamlessly. Here are key areas that will support a systems approach in your business:
Gives your employees a reason why they should care about what they are doing and inspires them to strive to work together for a common goal.
Communicates your commitment to leveraging a systems-based approach and how you will achieve the goals in your vision statement.
Clearly identify and practice values and principles that align with building your business around a system and empowering employees to share and leverage information and resources.
Defines specific, measurables, attainable/actionable, realistic and time-sensitive goals.
Identifies the roles within your organization and how they structured to work together.
Job descriptions should not only spell out the individual’s role and responsibilities but also outline their function in relation to others within the company.
Key performance indicators allow you to measure progress and align results to profits.
Manuals and SOPs
These are living documents that evolve to reflect how things are done in each area of your business and include materials like checklists, videos and other information that define how tasks should be performed.
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