How To Bring Operational Efficiency In Leading Business Effortlessly
As an entrepreneur, you need to set up a system to ensure clarity and a defined path to achieve the desired outcome
During a recent seminar I conducted for entrepreneurs, a participant asked, “How do I create operational efficiency and lead my business effortlessly?” From his question alone, I could sense his pain, and understood that this entrepreneur might be struggling with fire-fighting and handling operational crises on a daily basis, stealing away his time to focus on growth-based strategic challenges. This is the story of most entrepreneurs. They are busy handling situations which would not have arisen if the business was well designed.
My response was based on two principles – build simple and sustainable systems and delegate work to competent people. Allow me to explain:
If you, as an entrepreneur have ever questioned the concept of a ‘system’, then I truly empathise with you. And as a solution, ask yourself, what is a system and what type would work best for you. Questioning yourself should change your train of thought, and if it does, then you are definitely on the right track to success. As an entrepreneur, you need to set up a system to ensure clarity and a defined path to achieve the desired outcome. This will also maintain continuity, should the members of your team change. Entrepreneurs also need to implement systems which are both simple as well as sustainable. And it is these systems which will help manage your teams, projects and customers.
The true magic of a system lies in certain basic ingredients, which go into building it, and are based on: Why, What, Who, When and How
To understand each element, we need to ask ourselves the following:
- Why is there a particular outcome required to be achieved by each department of the business?
- What are the steps which need to be defined to achieve the outcome?
- Who needs to do the ‘what’?
- In what capabilities should the individual have to be competent to implement the system?
- What timelines will be set in place and How will the parameters of measurement be defined to accomplish the outcome?
Defining the above questions are a must for any entrepreneur and will set the tone for a basic workable system to be put in place.
Apart from the reason of lack of clarity of systems, lapses in efficiency often happen in operations because of a dearth of competence in resources. As entrepreneurs, it is critical to have a clear list of skills, knowledge and attitude defined for an individual required to execute the job tasks. Using these parameters, one can then evaluate those whom we are delegating the tasks to. Only then will operational efficiency be a reality. In most workplaces, people are doing tasks that their subordinates should be responsible for because there is a competence gap. Business owners are doing what the managers should be doing and managers are executing the tasks hands-on instead of leading the team because they are not competent enough to produce the desired results.
In such cases, the recruitment and training process plays a huge role in solving this problem. Businesses often make compromised decisions by taking on board people who lack competence, because they are unable to attract the right talent or they don’t have pre-defined attributes defined against which they make hiring decisions. Even when talent is being hired, the quality of training delivered lacks precision. This is again for the same reason, that competency attributes have not been defined and designed to know what needs to change and how will one measure this through training.
As an entrepreneur, fixing these two issues of creating clarity of systems and defining a clear list of skills, knowledge and attitude required for a job, will ensure operations become efficient and management becomes effortless.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.