The System is the Process
03/31/2008

Systems exist in all organizations and businesses and they play a big role in how the business operates, how it succeeds and how it fails. The magic of systems is that they produce results for people involved because we get used by them as human beings - much like the solar system, it runs us. The trick is that we may not be clear how the systems in our organisation was designed (often it is a default system) but with the right information and qualified people, they can be identified and then re-engineered to produce the results you want.

 

A little background

Let's start with a little background. A system is defined as
a set of interacting or interdependent entities, real or abstract, forming and integrated whole. The concept of an 'integrated whole' can also be stated in terms of a system “embodying a set of relationships which are differentiated from relationships of the set to other elements, and from relationships between an element of the set and elements not a part of the relational regime.” Generally speaking, a system is a bunch of different parts working together towards some objective. Any business, from one person to one thousand or more has a system in it. For example, when one part of the system makes a promise, then another part has to deliver on that promise.

Systems “by default” in entrepreneurship

Systems in small businesses and startups usually occur by default. They're usually not created by design and are really more a by-product of the way the owner or founder works. As such, there are as many different systems as there are small businesses with just as many different results. For example, an organization that focuses purely on results, without considering how to develop the employees from within has a system. The results from that system, however may produce little opportunity for fulfillment for its employees. Being clear about this can, in itself, shift the nature of an organization by providing the opportunity for a new system to emerge.

The RSC Methodolgy

The way RSC works is carefully designed and effective. As an intern at RSC Business Group, the methods were not always clear to me - but it was to my managers. By trusting the process the benefit was undeniable: it turned me into a middle manager without even realizing it beforehand. When I started my internship at RSC Business Group, I had been promised training in communication, process design, management, and the whole culture of the company. I went along with it because I trusted the people who had told me about it even if I wasn't entirely clear on how. I did not consider myself a manager, nor somebody who could communicate to a room particularly effectively.

Over the course of seven months, I was exposed to many different exercises and processes. They served many purposes, such as finding new potential customers, learning new material, debating it, improving it and taking ownership of it. In so doing, I was becoming comfortable with it without even realizing it. Prior to surveying clients, there would be coaching, and then afterwards debriefing. In almost every instance, there would be training and development, the opportunity to learn something new in even the most classically negative experiences.

In the next round of our internship program, I had been tasked with becoming a manager to the new group of interns. This is not something I felt I was particularly well prepared going into. However, when the time came to speak to my group of interns, I was able to speak confidently without hesitation and correctly from the source material. It had become my own. I had taken on some of the roles of my own manager.

What can this do for you?

You can create the next level at your organization. Work with the people in your team to create how the organization will function in every department. Let them document and debate, learn and understand, and constantly improve the previous versions. In so doing, they can take ownership of it, and take away the functions you thought could only be performed by yourself. Without even realizing it, your employees can become experts. Not only that, they become resources for creating the next level of your organization.

How do the different pieces of your organization interact? Are your employees developing such that they become a resource to your organization? It may not be about changing, but just taking a look at it from another perspective. RSC Business Group can help you to get that different perspective, to see how the systems in your organization are interacting and then adapt them as necessary to get what you want.

Category: Business Systems

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