Production Chaos Meets Order
What happens when CHAOS meets ORDER?
I can testify as an eyewitness to what happened in our company when I finally commanded an all-out war on chaos and introduced Chaos to Order! At times, the battles were pretty ugly and we had some casualties along the way—yet we all survived.
We got a late start on declaring war, as it took several years for me to realize it was a WAR. I knew we were under siege by chaos in our company, due to the multiple production errors and other problems we were experiencing every day. Still, I didn’t have a clue as to how to stop it. We were slowly being out-flanked, surrounded and facing sure defeat at the hands of one stupid mistake after another.
I consulted with other “commanders” (business owners) about what they were encountering, and they assured me this was “something that comes with the territory” of business ownership. In fact, they reported, I should “just get used to chaos” being around, and—“as long as we make a profit”—not to let it bother me.
Sorry to say, at first I took their advice and told my troops (employees) we would just have to negotiate and live with the chaos. After all, it was “normal” in our industry. Right?
However, my own battle fatigue with chaos was causing a loss of sleep and sapping my will to continue in business ownership—not to mention the stress it was causing the troops. But, something way down deep was telling me not to settle for that kind of daily onslaught—not to give in, but to fight back. Slowly, I realized that chaos was not just occupying space with us; it was out to destroy me, the business and the ground I had fought for with blood, sweat and tears.
To make a long story short, let’s just say I had a spiritual moment at that point—an epiphany I detail in my book, “System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business.” I suddenly realized how I could defeat this enemy called chaos, but I also knew I had to be committed to its defeat, even if the war dragged on.
I’m a history buff, and having read about strategies of war against any enemy, I knew THIS one could only be defeated by fighting one battle at a time. Using the weapons of well-planned systems and implementing them one by one—with the help of God and my employees—I was determined we would overcome!
Initially, and naively, I figured the war would be over in about two years. Due to my inexperience as a company commander, however—and with almost no formal business or management training—I had to retreat more than I care to admit here. Fortunately, I always returned to the struggle with better weapons and tools for warfare. I had to turn over a lot of rocks to find what was needed in the trenches. The conflict raged on and on for all of eight years, until we finally achieved victory.
I can just about hear you thinking, “I can’t wage war like that and I certainly don’t have eight years to give, with family and other obligations to consider!”
The good news is—it won’t take you eight years if you commission the right people and weapons (tools) for the battles. I believe and have faith you could win the war in one or two years.
Where do you start?
- Realization—admit you are in a WAR with chaos.
- Make a commitment—declare war to defeat this enemy, no matter how long it takes.
- Educate yourself in Chaos Warfare—read books and articles on continual improvement, process management, business management, etc. Get wise counsel.
What can you expect during the campaign?
- Opposition and push-back from employees, and sometimes even those close to you.
- Battle fatigue and maybe even a few casualties—but everyone will live.
- Some immediate victories that will encourage you and your troops to PRESS ON!
Benefits of winning the war:
- More time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, but never could find the time.
- Peace with profit.
- Added value to your company.
- Let’s just say, more than you ever imagined!
NOTE 1: Remember Steve Jobs of Apple—you don’t need a formal business education in order to win this war!
NOTE 2: As with the enemies of our freedoms, we must continue to be vigilant, as chaos will not need an invitation to return. Read more (pdf) about a powerful weapon for your warfare.
So, what is it that happens when CHAOS meets ORDER?
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.