Things You Say You Don't Know
"Don't let the things you DON'T know confuse the things you DO know!" Where have you heard that before? And, were you really listening?
When I heard it from a friend of mine several years ago, it stuck in my head like a tune you can't stop humming—and I've repeated that truth often. My friend, a pastor, was actually talking about how difficult passages in the Bible are sometimes hard to understand on first reading. He said, "Don't let yourself get derailed or discouraged because of something you don't understand—take comfort in the things you DO understand, and the things you DON'T will become clearer down the road with more knowledge and context."
I've found that also to be true in business!
Normally, when owners and managers talk about organizing a business, they often bemoan that they "DON'T know how to systemize" their business; that "it seems too complicated and overwhelming."
I remember hearing about a young sculptor who was given the task of sculpting an elephant for a certain rich lady. When she had a massive stone shipped to his studio, the sculptor sat and pondered for days how to turn the featureless block into something that would satisfy this important customer. At first he was also quick to think, "I don't know how!" But, finally the sculptor got up the courage to approach the great stone, and he wisely began chipping away everything that didn't look like an elephant.
You see, there were some things he DID know!
And that's what I remind business owners and managers who call me about how to begin systemizing their companies. I tell them, "There is a lot you DO know! That's where you begin! The problems caused by NOT having well-planned written systems are already happening to you every day—you DO know about that!
Here are a few examples of some things I believe you DO know—(if I may call you Clyde):
DO KNOW #1—Employees stop and interrupt you A LOT, as you pass them in the hall or in production:
"Hey Clyde, did you know the loading dock is not working and trucks can't offload?"
"Hey Clyde, my uncle Bob is coming to town and I need off this Thursday...is that OK?"
"Hey Clyde, I have asked my supervisor several times to order part SM4884 for the air compressor...now it's down and I can't do my job!"
DO KNOW #2—You get calls from customers:
"Hey Clyde, I just received my job and it's folded wrong!"
"Hey Clyde, I just got my invoice—what the h#%@ are ya'll trying to pull, I'm not paying extra for that c#&%#!!"
"Hey Clyde, the toilet is backed up in the women's bathroom and water is all over the floor!"
DO KNOW #3—You get calls on your mobile just after leaving your office:
"Hey Clyde, where are you? There's someone here saying they had an appointment with you."
"Hey Clyde, WHERE ARE YOU? That large job we just delivered to the mail house is all wrong!"
"Hey Clyde, I'm sorry to call, but you need to get back here! Joe, your production manager, and Bob, your bindery manager, are having a screaming match in front of the employees and customers again!"
What does this have to do with the statement, "Don't let the things you DON'T know confuse the things you DO know?
With just a little thought and creativity you can FIX the things you DO know, that are causing chaos in your company. Many fixes are very simple to implement with just a little initiative and team work.
Imagine, if you fix the things you DO know about, you will find you are 90 percent of the way to systemizing your business. For the other 10 percent—read a few books on the subject. Yes, it takes some effort and time!
But, you say, "I seem to be wasting A LOT of effort and time lately!" There you have it...that's something you DO know!
There's a FIX for that!
Did I Mention? Great Systems Work!