Implementing Systems Is Child’s Play – Literally!
I can’t believe it was nearly six years ago that Richard, one of our salesmen, stopped by my office early one morning for a short visit. He had been selling for our printing company for about a year by then, and had become very intrigued with our systematic approach to production—and with the software we had developed to ensure quality and service for businesses.
Richard’s real mission was to ask me if he could join our software company, as he saw a lot of potential and thought his marketing and selling skills would be better utilized in that area. After he shared his ideas for marketing, I moved him over to the software company. Turned out to be a great decision for all of us!
After working in his new position for several weeks, Richard came by my office all excited about a “home experiment” he had done with the systems.
Apparently, Richard’s wife had come to him all upset, insisting he take charge of making sure their two small sons cleaned their rooms before going out to play. She was tired of fussing at them, having to oversee their every move, pointing out things in their rooms that still needed picking up, and pretty much having to threaten them within an inch of their lives to do what was expected of them.
Richard had heard me say many times how we need to “manage the system, and let the system manage the people.” So, he had undertaken to build a special system, just for his boys.
He had bought a whiteboard for each of the boys’ rooms, and had written a step-by-step checklist on each board—things that needed to be done at home, before AND after school. Then, he went about making sure their toys and other items in the room had a designated location for storage. The whiteboards listed everything from picking up toys and putting them in their proper location, to doing homework and other chores—even brushing their teeth.