On Monday last week I had a revelation. And it has to to with business coaching. For me revelation just means I managed to get a better view of the bleeding obvious.
The revelation was that most business owners (in fact nearly everyone) has a completely warped idea of what a system is for in a business. And not only that – (validly?) because of exposure to really bad advice from “gurus” or from their own earlier (failed) attempts at “systems” – they believe without a doubt in their hearts that either:
1. Systems will not work in my business or
2. It is not worth the effort – which is massive, expensive, and difficult.
The revelation – the “Whack a Mole” game. You know it. It is where there is a field where “moles” pop up, and you bash them with a soft hammer. In some versions – the better you get at whacking them – the faster and more unpredictable their appearances become – like a “REWARD” for doing well.
If you have come to this page via the welcome screen – you have already seen the video below, but here it is again. While you watch it – be asking yourself how much of your business life is “spent” intensely dealing with recurring problems/issues/dramas/wastes. And notice that you “deal with them”, then move on. After that you just know in the back of your mind that they WILL come back and you will deal with them again. Each time you deal with each one – there is an element of adrenaline fueled excitement. “YOU DA MAN/WOMAN!!” Just like the feeling of whacking a mole… Watch the video. How many “moles” on this board?
Be ready to hit PAUSE as I have set it to repeat. Because that is what happens in your business?
So – how many “mole holes” were there?
A quick count shows there are only FIVE mole holes. Here is a business strategy question for you.
If you blocked over just ONE of the five mole holes – ideally the one that statistically delivers more moles for you to “whack” (you CAN count, right?) – then how much time and energy would you save when playing? More than one fifth, right? And would the game get easier with that one hole blocked? Mmmm.
Now, what if you blocked up another of the mole holes (after humanely dealing with the moles that lived in it)?
If you were able to determine the two most common moles – you may have REMOVED more than 50% of the recurring moles (problems) you regularly deal with. How much less effort would it take to play this Whack a Mole game in the two busiest holes are closed over? It would be starting to get pretty unexciting, right? No real energy required – a bit boring. In an arcade this game would not be played much – too easy.
If the “points” you get in the game were dollars – would become a pretty nice earn? But not very exciting. I wonder how many times the guy in the video could play this game before he collapsed or just stopped because it became too hard? (Consider the huge percentage of new business “failures”)
I am not saying that maybe your business is like a marathon level whack a mole tragedy – where perhaps you are so “busy” whacking moles that you do not have time to block over any holes. Because that would infer that you have not been taking all your sandwiches to the picnic?
Let’s instead say that you have researching and thinking about the right place to begin and what to do first. There was a best selling book a decade or two back called “Stop the Insanity”. It was a fat loss book – and it took about 130 pages to say that everything has a sequence, a process. You want to alter you body shape – change the procedures that affect it.
If you want to want to kill off a mole or two (or all of them) – then just look at the processes that come before them. Then just change the process so you get the result you want. Let’s use a real example.
In a client business, we recently discovered that two or more separate orders were going to a major supplier on a single day. This was wasting a stack of cash in freight – because the supplier sent them “separately”. The procedure before was to simply send the order every time they needed a component. The new procedure – send the order ONCE per day near to but before 3pm. This meant that extra items could be added to the order form (it was an actual order form!). A calendar reminder went off at 3pm as a reminder. This minimized the freight cost, and still ensured the order was received by the supplier before the daily cut off.
That was pretty straight forward, right? Not rocket science? Most procedures are that simple. Some are not – and need the use of checklists, procedures, narratives (where you explain each step of a procedure fully so that anyone past Grade 6 can do it consistently.)
Some moles are not frequent enough to deserve any attention.
And then you only have to “not lose” the intellectual gold you have plucked out of thin air. Again – to use the whack a mole analogy – just create a map of the holes you blocked up.
You can go all space age and use video to record your procedures, and “process maps”, or whatever you want. The point of this article is to suggest that despite your past experiences, and what you may have been told by a well meaning parent or mentor – you CAN do this. You just need to wake up to the fact that the moles control whack a mole – and you just react. Being great at reacting is fine for a while – but just like in the video – it is hard work, then the same hard work again and again.
So – that’s all I wanted to say today. Hope it helps you.
You are welcome to contact me – there might be space in my coaching roster – or if not I will do what I can to guide you. In terms of my coaching program – consider this – I can get a truly great return out of working on my own businesses – doing the same things that coaching makes my clients do. I enjoy coaching and I learn much faster because of it. And doing it for 13 years has helped me become a truly “kick-@ss mole hole buster!
Go back now and review all the information above. Watch the video again a few times – and look for more meaning that relates back to your business. Don’t overcomplicate it. You CAN make your business rock – and the first part is usually getting rid of the moles so you have energy and desire to spare. Once that happens – you then get to play with multiplying it.
ps for every mole you find – be sure to step UP above your business and look at the CONTEXT (or environment) that allows your little mole to exist. This makes you separate from the mole – and you can see the holes better.
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