Yesterday, I was talking with a user of Box Theory™ Gold software. He told me how Systems Thinking and Box Theory™ have turned him into a keen observer and critic of the business systems he encounters as a buying customer. At a recent visit to a restaurant, he and his wife were able to easily spot numerous ways the business could improve. This kind of exercise builds Systems Thinking muscle. I highly recommend it for improving your own business.
Metaphorically speaking, Systems Thinkers not only see the hands on the clock that tell the time of day, but they see the gears and springs in the background that cause the clock to keep perfect time throughout the year.
So let’s look beyond the surface at the gears and springs that really make a business system or process “run like clockwork.”
Transform Boring Procedures into Magical Systems
Once I spent a few minutes (very few) watching a television program called, “Dancing with the Stars.” I was fascinated by its power to illustrate the potential of effective business systems. Here are my brief observations.
A short video clip showed dancers in sweats rehearsing laboriously to music from a boom-box. The only components of the practice session included the dance partners, music, and a dance routine or “procedure.” The scene was nothing anyone would care to watch for more than a few minutes. The routine was like many small-business systems—loosely structured, focused mostly on procedure, full of mistakes, and not something to get very excited about.
The dance itself could never hold the attention of an audience—the customer. As a television program, it would be a guaranteed flop. However, on the night of the broadcast, this rather mundane dance procedure becomes a high-drama and engaging “system” that excites and entertains. The following added components help to bring about this transformation.
- Dazzling sets and costumes
- Popular music
- Celebrities paired with professional dancers
- Behind-the-scenes interviews and stories
- A cheering crowd
- Professional judging, scoring, and candid evaluations
- Viewer participation, call-in votes, social media buzz
- Recognition of winners and losers, trophy chase, substantial cash earnings
- Weekly advertising that builds anticipation
- Can you name other system-building components?
Now it’s these “little” things that make all the difference. They change a basic dance procedure into a compelling and even addictive entertainment system—a system that keeps millions of viewers glued to their television sets week after week. This well-executed business system attracts customers and makes money—big money. And YOU can do the same in your target market!
When television programming styles or genres are copied—“So You Think You Can Dance”—they are sometimes described as following a formula. And, of course, a formula is really just a system that produces a predictable result. Vast fortunes have been made by simply following a formula or “recipe” for success.
Consider this “Dancing with the Stars” Review:
The “Dancing with the Stars” season is a wrap and what a season it was! Before the dazzling finale, we were treated to many weeks of shoes flying, stars crying, pros stumbling, and an ever-changing leaderboard! The hits kept coming (as did the misses) as the stars rehearsed hard and danced harder in pursuit of the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.”
When people start talking about your business—its core products and services—with this kind of enthusiasm, you’ve got a winner. The essence of every great business system is found in the details, the system components that excite and delight both customers and employees. With a little imagination (the art) and powerful system-building principles (the science), you too can create a remarkable business!
I invite you to learn this breakthrough skill so you too can start “dancing with the stars!”
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