Systemisation – what’s in it for me?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Recently, a client engaged in systemising their business asked me to give a brief presentation to their staff on the changes they were making.  As with any change programme, the engagement of staff in the change is critical to its success.

This is what I told them:

Why change:

Companies need to grow.  Growth develops the ability to replace lost business, provides job security and career paths for staff and gets a business to a scale where it is more resilient.

Companies can get to a certain size working informally.  Thereafter, to continue to grow, things need to be managed slightly differently.

The leaders and founders become the bottleneck in a growing business if they continue to be involved in everything and make all the decisions.  They need to delegate.

Successful businesses pass two tests:

  • They sell something the market wants (relatively common) and
  • They are well-organised (relatively uncommon)

You already sell something the market wants.  This change is all about becoming better organised.

How change:

Delegation requires who (choose and develop the right people), what (agree clear objectives) and how (define the process to be followed).  It also requires a coaching style of management focused on developing the individual employee.

Employees need clear definitions of the things for which they are responsible.  This means agreed job descriptions and unambiguous reporting lines.

For individual objectives to be meaningful they need to form part of a coherent plan that is a roadmap for the business.  This plan includes financial targets and non-financial targets, for instance for marketing, sales and operations.

Progress against the plan needs to be reviewed regularly.

You are in a battle against your competitors.  Success depends on doing the things that matter better than them.  Doing that requires understanding what these things are, agreeing how success is to be measured, deciding who is to do what and defining the best way to do things.

Often this involves smarter use of technology.  In the future, only companies that understand and use data for competitive advantage will survive.

What it is not:

Abdication of responsibility for business success from the top.

Increased workloads for employees.

Imposed arbitrary targets.

Big brother.

What you can expect to see:

More communication of business aims and plans.

Job descriptions, with clear accountabilities.

More delegation of responsiblility – with clear results and regular reviews.

An operations manual covering the key processes for the business.

Growth in the business, growth in your knowledge, capabilities and value to the business – and improved reward and career opportunities.


If you want to learn more about systemisation and how it can benefit your business, register for our next seminar on the topic.

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