Entropy: The "Condition" of Business
Every business I know of is plagued by a continuing condition called “Entropy.”
I was reminded of this as I drove along a beautiful Tennessee backroad, on my way to church this morning.
Trying to decide on just the right topic for my blog this week, I was deep in thought about that, when I turned on the radio and heard a British voice, a Bible teacher, speaking about the “condition” of mankind, and what in his opinion is the root cause of the trouble.
What caught my attention was, that he camped out on that word “condition.” He described it like it was some ongoing, incurable ailment that could only be controlled by medication, diet or exercise.
Of course, being a Bible teacher, the “condition” he was referring to is also known as the doctrine of sin. “In order to keep this condition under control,” he said, “mankind needs to have a personal relationship with a specialist/physician,” that the teacher referred to as God.
So, what does that have to do with entropy in business? Everything! Read on…
The definition of “entropy” is…the predisposition of all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of chaos; the inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or entity.
Does that sound like YOUR business these days?
As a systems specialist, I’m able to aid and assist businesses in gaining control over this “condition” through systemization of business processes and, hopefully, with some wise counsel on the subject.
I’ve been studying how to deal with this entropy in business problem for over 15 years. With my team, we have identified many of the symptoms of this condition, and labeled them “system busters.” System busters are unwanted and sometimes unexpected events every business faces daily, no matter how large or small or sophisticated in organization.
Some examples of system busters are: Orders forgotten or misplaces, errors in service or production, people failing to follow procedures, materials not available when needed, out of control labor costs, etc.
I could go on and on describing the “condition,” but I suspect you want to know about the treatment, the solution for that—the ‘medicine’ that can alleviate this.
I’ve told many stories in blogs and in my book, “System Busters,” describing the various symptoms experienced by me and other business professionals dealing with this disorder.
However, now I feel I need to apologize, as I may have failed in the past to zero in on the fact that this “condition” can never be completely healed.
Yes, I am sorry to report, this “condition” is incurable!
But, as the Bible teacher shared—there is good news. It is treatable!
Over the past two decades, I have seen days in my business without any sign or symptoms of the condition of business entropy rearing its ugly head.
Fact is, I was beginning to believe my business was close to a complete cure, and then I became lackadaisical about maintaining good habits of keeping up with our systems of continual improvement—the treatment for the disorder.
The next thing I knew, the “condition” started coming back. The Law of Entropy was doing its thing, and our systems began to break down again.
Folks…like you, I have no control over the laws of the universe. But I know this: implementing good systems, and then being diligent to stay the course, allows a business to keep steady control of all areas of its operation.
Business entropy, the condition of chaos that many owners and managers wearily resign themselves to as being “normal,” CAN be successfully treated, using the power of well-maintained systems!
Did I mention? Great systems work?
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.