Have you noticed that our country is in a state of crisis! Government, business, and family systems are breaking down at an unprecedented rate. Every failure or crisis in your organization can also be traced to the breakdown of a system. However, there is good news!
After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the front cover of Time Magazine read “SYSTEM FAILURE.” In my opinion, no city or government could handle such an assault on its puny, ineffective, and unproven systems for responding to a natural disaster of this magnitude. I don’t think this was any one person’s fault—not even President Bush. It would be very expensive to create systems everywhere that can accommodate worst-case scenarios.
Following Katrina, the people of New Orleans had one of two choices. They could build a new city thirty miles inland to avoid the impact of such hurricanes (the smart move). Or, they could rebuild the current city with new and improved systems—infrastructure and emergency response plans—to accommodate future hurricanes of similar or larger size (a very expensive solution).
In your business, there are also systems—usually unnoticed—that are in the process of breaking down. One day, you will experience a crisis—a system failure like the bridge that collapsed without warning in Minneapolis in the summer of 2008.
What is the weak point of your business? Innovative products? Marketing and sales? Quality control? Timely shipping? These and many other system problems could be your eventual downfall unless process improvement is a regular part of your business operations.
When a critical business system hits a crisis point—can no longer perform adequately—you could choose to close down the business and walk away. However, if you want to continue in business your response must be to re-order the system to a higher level. That is, you must improve the system so that it can produce more sales, achieve better quality, or effectively handle a heavier load.
Like the bionic man, you have to make your business system or process better, stronger, faster. You have to elevate your weakest system to achieve the desired result, and then go do the same with the next weakest system, and so on, until you become a remarkable company!