People are your greatest asset! So, if you are frustrated with poor performance, low productivity, sloppy work, excessive mistakes, wasted time, and a variety of other "people" problems, perhaps Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth Revisited, has the answer.
"YOU are the problem.
YOU have always been the problem.
YOU will always be the problem,
Until YOU change!"
"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt," said Mark Twain.
YOU are the problem because you have failed to put good people into well-designed and effective business systems and processes. When you blame people, you divert attention from the real problem—the faulty business system that YOU are responsible for!
Do Your Business Systems Include These Elements?
People are the most important and expensive component in nearly all business systems and processes. To get the maximum value from your people, place them in the right job within a proven system. As in the systems of football, include the following game-changing elements:
- Training and Development (e.g., playbooks; whiteboard instruction; weekly practice)
- Ownership and Accountability (e.g., coach, quarterback, team captains)
- Teamwork (e.g., offensive team, defensive team, special teams)
- Goals and Performance Standards (e.g., first downs, points scored, total offensive yards, goal line)
- Measurement (e.g., first down conversions, percent of completed passes, time of possession)
- Scoreboards and Feedback (e.g., game scoreboard, yard markers to first down, cheering/booing crowd, media coverage)
- Schedules and Deadlines (e.g., time in the huddle, time left on the clock, timeouts)
- Reporting, Evaluation and Team Meetings (e.g., half-time meeting, team meetings during the week, personal meeting with coach)
- Celebration of Victories, Recognition, and Reward (e.g., end-zone dance, locker-room parties, interviews, press stories and pictures)
- Appropriate Compensation (e.g., based upon performance, contribution to team)
Create a Culture of Discipline
Your business environment has a significant influence on your workforce. Weaker people can become highly productive, and stronger people can lose their edge, depending on your company culture. Recently, a business manager told me he had three individuals with black belts in Six Sigma; however, over time they had become "pink belts."
A culture of discipline, enthusiasm and excellence really begins to happen when you put the right people in remarkable business systems—a magical combination.
Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, sums it up best:
“A culture of discipline involves a duality. On the one hand it requires people who adhere to a consistent system; yet, on the other hand, it gives people the freedom and responsibility within the framework of that system.”
If you want a highly motivated and productive workforce, begin by creating measurable business systems and processes. Processes create habits, and habits drive culture. Most of your employees naturally want to do a good job. By creating a results-driven culture, they will perform at their best, even when you're not around.
Of course, there are occasionally people who will not meet your standards. However, if you have more than your share of these employees, take a look at the effectiveness of your hiring system or your training system. I guarantee that an under-performing system is responsible for every one of your business problems.
So, don't blame people anymore. Instead, elevate your business systems and processes by getting my free report below, "Better Systems - Better Business," and 10-Day Mini-Course, "Fast Start to Systems Thinking."