Personnel-Based vs. Systems-Based Management
“We don’t need good systems; all we need are good people!” Or, so thought a business owner that I wrote about in my book! As I relate the following, let that quote digest.
I was driving on the freeway to my home outside of Nashville this past Friday to pick up my wife to go see a movie, when my cell phone rang. It was my former pastor (I’ll call him, Bill). He sounded very excited and wanted to share with me some new things that have been going on in his life.
I had given my book “System Busters” to Bill several years ago, before he moved out west to be part of another ministry. Bill has always taken part-time jobs to help supplement his income, as ministry doesn’t always pay well, monetarily. Recently, he has been involved with several companies that have asked for his help in improving their processes.
Bill said, “I called to tell you again how much your book has impacted me and the work I’ve been doing.” He went on to say how he had used many of the ideas I laid out about the systemization of business.
Bill had just left a planning meeting with the owner of a company that has over 300 employees, and which has grown into a very complex organization over the past couple of decades. The owner is now very concerned about the company’s future and is desperately looking for answers.
The company’s top employee is retiring very soon and the owner realizes there is NO ONE else who knows the company’s processes and how they operate like THIS person—not even the owner himself. Bill said this owner’s way of running the company was “personnel-based rather than systems-based.”
He had strongly recommended that the owner implement written systems immediately, before this “top employee” leaves. Bill told me he was running into this scenario everywhere, and said doors are now opening for him to help other companies get organized.
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.