What process do you have in place that makes sure you prioritize, communicate, and check to make sure that the work is completed successfully?
Is there just you making those decisions?
If you're reliant on other people creating the priorities every day, who is checking that their processes work and are successfully achieved each day?
A business plan, an action plan, a daily diary, or whatever process you use in your business is no more than a "reminder" or a "checklist."
I'm sure there are some pretty remarkable people out there that can do everything from memory, but you have to remember there are not just you to think about. Even if you only employ 2 or 3 people, can you really remember everything that they must do on a daily basis, plus all the phone calls, letters, marketing, customer service calls and so on? Multiply your employees by 10 or twenty and you really do have to start using checklists and processes that drive the required actions.
Here's a Little Bit of Coping Theory for You:
As an individual, your brain operates very much like the internet! Just imagine typing a word or a phrase into Google...The result will bring up a series of information related to that topic. Your brain works in exactly the same way, except the information brought up in your mind relates to your experience, knowledge and your unique "slant" on what that might mean to you.
Now when you realize that according to Hungarian biologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book "Flow", your brain is constantly bombarded by around 2,000,000 bits of information every second, you will start to get a better understanding of why you might need some kind of reminder list each day. In fact, your brain can't cope with this mass of information and it removes the vast majority of "stuff" it receives - this means you're usually left with around 134 bits or just 7 chunks 2 to deal with.
In other words, you only ever process 0.000067% of the information your brain receives. In simple terms, your nervous system would never cope unless it sorted the details in this way.
Of course, the crucial part of all this is the 7 chunks 2 that you're left with...
Because they are determined by your own personal focus, you're own interpretation, which has been built up over the years from your past experience as you relax on a total chair cushion thinking about the same, your education, your family and friends, where you lived, your religious understanding and so on.
So what does this all mean?
It really suggests that because you can only deal with such a limited amount of information at any one time, it's crucial that your FOCUS is on the right ACTIONS.
Like the internet and like your mind, your day will be littered with masses of information that cause distraction and take you away from your original thoughts, ideas, and plans. Now, remember, this is not only happening to you, but it's also happening to everyone else you work with, and there really is only one choice remaining...
Make sure that you have a "Routine" that works like clockwork and is checked by whoever has that role in your business. And yes, they will need checking too!
It's not to say that you can't change direction or improve the process from time to time, but ask yourself that well-known question - Why fix something if it's not broken? To make adjustments along the way is a requirement - In other words, the process can be affected by a number of things each day:
- Maybe someone has called in sick
- Your suppliers have let you down
- There has been a breakdown with machinery or equipment
Manage the volume of change that is going to happen in spurts. Don't try and make a huge impact on the organization and employees at the same time. If you can transition the change in steps, it will be easier on the staff. The business theory should be to manage the volume so people are more flexible.
Your business theory for implementing process improvements also needs to be understanding. Employees are naturally going to react to changes. Some employees may have to perform processes that they have been doing for years in an entirely new way. It is important to be as understanding as possible to all of the different reactions you see. People may be uncertain about their abilities to perform their job functions anymore, or they may be worried that their job is becoming obsolete with the new changes.
Communicate to employees when changes are coming down the pipeline. The business theory should be that there are no surprises to employees. Communication efforts should include verbal talks with management, emails regarding the change and the time and date, and even postings around the company. Never forget to tell employees or they will be very upset about changes, especially if it will impact their day to day workload.
The business theory for communicating the change to employees also
needs to focus on the positive results the improvement changes are going to
have for the company as a whole as well for each individual employee. This is
something that should be available for the employees. In addition, a good
leader will find ways to communicate how the changes will benefit the employees
within their own careers as well.
Coping with change is difficult for many employees when they have been
with a company for a long time. You need to make change easy, and help
employees cope and find the positive aspects of the change. Your business
theory should be to provide as much support to employees as possible and
encourage them to see the positive side of the changes and how it will benefit
them individually, as well as the company as a whole.