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Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Both in our personal and professional lives, systems play an incessant role.  Ideally, the systems we use "grease the skids," make our life easier, allow us to accomplish our goals/tasks with fluidity and efficiency.

What systems, you ask?  Either consciously or unconsciously, we use systems (i.e., habitual processes) to:

  • Brush our teeth
  • Report in for work 
  • Cook breakfast
  • Enroll new students
  • Put on our clothes
  • Greet our friends
  • Take phone orders
  • Apply our cosmetics
  • Close the deal
Ideally (as noted above), those systems make the navigation of life and work easier, simpler, more seamless.  They allow us to do mundane/frequent tasks consistently, without burning up too much physical or mental energy. 

When, however, we put systems in place that "get in the way," become cumbersome, choke efficiency, add unnecessary layers of work, foster customer dissatisfaction rather than endearment, limit rather than enhance employee performance, then we have erred.  Time to tap the brakes, to reconsider. 

Deploying ineffective or inefficient systems is no sin; usually, it's just an inattentive oversight.  The sin lies in hanging on to those systems (or insisting that we hang on to them) once we realize their futile nature.  That is when we step across the threshold from simple mistake into the realm of conscious self-limitation.

Our systems should serve us, not the other way around.  Stop the madness! (when it needs stopping)

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