Strategy

18th February 2016

Make It Boring

People go into business for all sorts of reasons. One reason is often that they are fascinated, often to the point of obsession with what the business does; think of the petrolhead who is fascinated with everything to do with cars, or the geek who is in love with tech, or the engineer who is mesmerised by the opportunity to solve engineering problems. Having this level of interest in what a business does is really helpful; really helpful up to a point. Nothing great was ever achieved without passion. We tend to enjoy the things we are good at and we tend to be good at the things we enjoy. So having a passion and an interest is a good thing; a good thing up to a point.

One of the challenges is that if we are interested in something we tend to begin to make it all the more challenging to keep the interest levels high and so that it requires even more skill to execute. This is the very antithesis of building an effective and scalable business where the major criteria are simplicity and quality. Often the more complex (skilful) an operation, the less scalable. By systemising a business we start to make it scalable. We start to make the process replicable. In so doing we start to remove the variables and minimise the amount of skill needed. That enables us to employ others to do the tasks thereby reducing the dependence on the founder.

Systems run your business. People manage your systems. You lead your people; is a great mantra to follow, but for lots of business owners to systemise something is to make it boring and therefore less challenging and therefore less attractive. This is often one of the great paradoxes that business owners and leaders and in particular founders need to come to terms with in order to grow and scale their business. How do I make it simple enough for others to do and yet not too boring for me?

If it can’t be written down, you will be stuck always having to do it yourself.