Focus on the System, Not the Product

Latest posts by Sam Carpenter (see all)

It seems logical the manager’s total efforts should be focused on the product or service itself; that all energy be directed to the work that must be done, the customers who must be found, and the money that must be made.

And this is the problem! Focus entirely on these tasks without an overall strategy of system-improvement, and dysfunction is imminent. Failure to adopt an outside-and-slightly-elevated perspective is the primary reason only one business out of 100 will survive 15 years.

Here’s good news: The bulk of those one percent survivors are doing very well indeed. Albeit morbid, here’s more good news for you: The vast majority of your new competitors are doomed.

Understand what large successful businesses have in common: The leader is not producing the product or service. He or she is holding court, observing and adjusting the systems that produce and sell the product or service. To accomplish this, the leader insists management documents goals, methodology, and procedures—and ensures employees follow this documentation exactly.

By doing things this way—by providing extraordinary systems and then inspiring everyone to abide by those systems—leadership can employ real people, people who don’t have super powers.

The CEO’s job is not only to create foundational systems that are forthright and sensible, but also to hire managers who see the vision and understand it is their responsibility to oversee sub-systems in the same logical and well-explained way. If you wish to operate a successful business that will have intrinsic value, should your role be any different?

Large successful businesses don’t have documented systems because they are large; they are large because they have documented systems! This is an absolute key point, one that is obvious once the systems-thinking epiphany strikes home.

Learn how to “work the systems” in your own business or department, turn hard work into smart work, and break free of long workweeks and meager pay by registering for a free teleseminar Thursday, August 28, on “Potent Strategies to Auto-Pilot Your Business or Department.” Click here to learn more and register for the free call:

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