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You Probably Have a System, Even When You Think You Don't

One of the problems that many successful business owners share with me is the fact that they are busier than ever and yet they are not getting the equivalent results in return for their increased efforts. 

They are working harder, smarter and better, they say, than ever before and yet their results - revenues, sales, profitability, productivity and the like- are either the same or have not increased proportionately in relationship to the efforts that are put into the business. 

When they ask me what the solution could be, I sometimes ask them a question. I ask them what their system is like. Their response often is that they don’t have a system. Or that they do have systems but only in certain area of the business and not in others or that their systems are not yet fully developed. 

At that point, I often tell them: You probably have a system even when you think you don’t, especially when you don’t think you have them. It’s just that the systems that you do have are not producing the results you hope.

I always get a quizzical look in return so I give them an example.

Think about something that you repeatedly do. For example, let’s take a mundane activity we all perform - or should perform - at least once a day: brushing our teeth. 

If you made a video of you brushing your teeth for the next 30 days and watched it, you will notice a pattern. Perhaps it’s whether you pick up the tooth brush first or the tooth paste. Perhaps it’s how you squeeze the tooth paste out of the tube: from the top, bottom or middle. Perhaps it’s whether you put the cap back on after you use it or leave it on the counter-top for your spouse to clean it. Perhaps it’s the way you clean up the counter after you are done. 

That pattern you notice is your “system” for brushing teeth. Why do you use that particular system? Because it works for you and makes you effective at doing an activity you must do every day. 

Why is it important to look at this idea of a system? Because systems - activities performed consistently - produce results. If we don’t like the results we get, something must change in that system. 

Back to the example of brushing teeth. If my teeth aren’t white enough, I must do something differently in the way that I brush my teeth to get a different result: whiter teeth. May be I need to change the tooth brush or the tooth paste. Perhaps I need to add a new component into the system, flossing for example. And when I run out of options available to me in improving my system, I may have to see an expert, a dentist in this example. 

Think about a specific area of your business where the results you are getting are not satisfactory. Perhaps your sales revenues are not where you would like them to be. May be your product quality is not the standard that’s satisfactory to you or your clients. May be your client satisfaction has waned a bit and you would like to bring it up to a higher level. Or your expenses are out of control and your cash flow isn’t what you think it should be. 

In all of these cases, if you examined your system - the repeated things your people do on a consistent basis - you will most likely find the cause of that lack in performance. And once you find the cause of the problem, the solution can’t be that far behind, even in the rare circumstance that you need an outside help. 

One of the things we do at Awayre, LLC is to help you examine and document your important systems with the intention of helping you figure out if it’s bringing you the results you want. In most cases, we also give you ideas, strategies and recommendations to help you improve your system and what it would take to bring about that improvement. 

Ultimately, we like to move to the idea of Unsystem which is when the system is mastered so well that we forget that we even have a system. In other words, the system becomes so second-nature that it becomes a habit and the work become effortless. 

The system that you had but didn’t know you had is the Unintentional System. When we examine the system, fix its flaws and put in place a new system, it’s the Intentional System. When that new system becomes a habit so that much of the work becomes unconscious and effortless, once again we have a system that we don’t think we have but this time with a difference: It produces better results. 

Do you know how action oriented your business is compared to, say, being strategic? Take Business Health Check. It’s free and comes with a Strategy Handbook to look at your business in a way you may have never done before. Click here to get started. 

Copyright 2014 Bhavesh Naik. All rights reserved.

Bhavesh Naik is the Founder and Creative Director of Awayre, LLC, a management consulting and human resource development firm specializing in activating the hidden power of a business process by engaging its people’s awareness. Awayre, LLC is a pioneer in bringing human awareness to the field of management and human resource development as its structural and fundamental component.

Why Systems Don't Work in Selling

“A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to a pattern and thinks in a groove.” ~ J. Krishnamurti
You’ve already heard the cliche’: People love to buy, but they hate being sold. It’s true.

One thing that exacerbates the problem of an already distrustful relationship between a buyer and a seller is the fact that many salespeople use step-by-step systems for selling. While such systems can help the salesperson, up to a point, they don’t help the buyer much. That’s why, most buyers see a system being used by the salesperson with a sense of trepidation and distrust.

I should know! Not only did I use a system for selling for more than 15 years, but I also taught one for five years. One that was designed, from the ground-up, to eliminate such mistrust between the buyer and the seller. 

The real problem with using a system in selling is that it views the buyer as a mechanistic entity that is predictable and controllable. If you have been in the selling field for a while, you will agree that nothing could be further from truth. Human beings are a dynamic entity that is hard to predict and control. That’s why, it’s only a matter of time before the system that sounded so great on paper falls apart in the real world. 

What’s needed instead is an “Un-system” that allows the salesperson to be in the moment while selling and responding appropriately to what the buyer does. This does not mean that you forget or unlearn what you already know about selling and selling systems. It simply means that you begin to graduate to a more advanced level of selling where you are not trapped into a system you know but transcend it and allow yourself to do what needs to be done in the moment of selling that’s best for both parties.

I have written a white-paper on this very subject which you can download here

If you want to find out how your Sales and Marketing department stacks against your business’ other functions - Operations and Customer Service, for example - take Awayre, LLC’s Business Health Check AQ (yes, it’s free). 

Copyright 2013 Bhavesh Naik. All rights reserved.

Bhavesh Naik is the Founder and Creative Director of Awayre, LLC, a management consulting and human resource development firm specializing in activating the hidden power of a business process by engaging its people’s awareness. Awayre, LLC is a pioneer in bringing human awareness to the field of management and human resource development as its structural and fundamental component.

Anatomy of Awayreness

Most businesses operate in one of two modes: 1) a disorganized, ad-hoc, seat-of-the-pants mode or 2) a structured, lifeless, soul-less, “well-run” mode. Both have their shortcomings.

Realistically speaking, a typical business is a mishmash of the two modes. In some of parts of it, it operates in the first mode. In others, it operates in the second. Sometimes the business swings between the two modes, looking for a “groove” that it sometimes finds but in many cases, does not.  

The First Mode: Ad-hoc, Seat-of-the-Pants Mode

The shortcomings of the ad-hoc, seat-of-the-pants mode are:

  • Lack of predictability and control over the business’s success, profits, revenues and growth.
  • Anxiety and insecurity on the part of business owners, executives and leaders as well as its employees
  • Lack of clarity, focus and confidence.
  • Lack of a well-planned, charted course.
  • Lack of discipline.
  • Lack of order and organization, resulting in stress and insecurity for everyone involved with the business.

Such a business is typically an under-performing business with high turnover, anxious people, and even more anxious leaders.

The Second Mode: Structured, Lifeless Mode

The problems of the second mode are:

  • The business is a lifeless machine.
  • Human creativity, wisdom and talents are is stifled, even crushed.
  • The business operates at a fraction of its optimum performance because it is not utilizing the full potential of its people.
  • People live a frustrated work-life because their full potential is not unlocked and realized.
  • Result is an under-performing business with high turnover and mediocre revenues and profitability.

A business typically starts in the first mode and then “graduates” to the second mode as it becomes successful in the marketplace. Yet, such success is not lasting as there is always another business that will take advantages of its weaknesses and outperform it.

The Third Mode: Awayre Mode

There is a third mode. This mode is not a combination of these two. It’s not even a balance between these two. It’s a different approach altogether.

In this mode:

  • Intelligence, wisdom and talents of its people is used to create systems and structures as they do their activities.
  • The structures of the business are inherently designed to not only “exploit” the inherent talents, wisdom and creativity of its people but also to nurture and bring out those that are yet undiscovered.
  • The business gets stability, predictability and control of the structured approach yet retains and, in fact, enhances the potential of its people so that the business can grow profitably.
  • There is no differentiation between the structures and the people. They are one and the same. Its structures are a part of the people. Its people are an integral part of the structures and processes.
  • What connects structures and people is the “Aware/Conscious/Purposeful Habits.” A habit is unconscious by definition where we do activities without consciously thinking about them. Conscious Habits are those habits that have an added dimension of awareness or consciousness. That’s why, it allows for the people to change them in a given situation.
  • Built into the business are mechanisms for changing people from frustrated individuals to those who willingly to change their habits.

Anatomy of Awayreness

At the heart of the Awayre mode are 7 human faculties that could be thought of as 7 concentric circles, one inside the the other, like ripples of waves from a water drop.

Starting from the innermost to outermost, these layers are:

  1. Inspiration Point
  2. Knowledge/Wisdom
  3. Social Identity
  4. Intellect
  5. Emotional Engagement
  6. Energy/Vitality
  7. Actions

When a business’s foundation is as deep as the Inspiration Point of its people, it performs at levels unheard of before. When a business’s boundaries are defined by the Consistent, Habitual, Aligned Actions - Awayre Actions - of its people, it can predictably and consistently repeat that high performance over a long period of time.

Granted, the Awayre Approach may not be the right approach for every business or organization. The first step to discovering whether it is appropriate for your business or organization is to go through Awayre Discovery Process. In this process, we take you through a questionnaire about your business’ unique challenges and opportunities and prepare a custom report - Awayre Quotient Report - for your personal use. Visit Awayre, LLC at http://www.awayre.com or contact me at bhavesh@ambica.net for more information.