Resistance Is Futile...You Will Be Assimilated
A while back, I was driving with two of my sons to a local Starbucks for an afternoon Americano, and we were discussing our software—System100—and its effects on our company and our clients’ companies.
I was sharing with my sons the frustration of trying to get a few clients to use certain systems more consistently in order to achieve their stated objectives and—due to our lack of authority—our inability to tell those clients what they MUST do to achieve those goals.
Sometimes, when talking to or training owners/managers, I get the sense that no one is really IN CHARGE or willing to exercise their authority to require that quality-control and other systems be used properly.
I went on lamenting to my boys that, when employees are NOT made to understand that quality- or service-control systems are an INTEGRAL part of the business and their jobs—that they will be held accountable—they will often stop using a system. This causes more stress for an owner/manager who KNOWS the right answer to the company’s chaos and waste, but for some unknown reason doesn’t have the courage to enforce company policies.
“Yes,” I told my sons, “sometimes I get angry when I hear of this lack of discipline and I want to just take charge and enforce the rules myself.”
My oldest son, Paul, an avid science fiction lover, joked, “Hey, Dad, tell them ‘they will comply, resistance is futile, and they will be assimilated’ into System100!”
For those of you who were not “Star Trek junkies,” those phrases—“Resistance is futile.” “You will comply.” “You will be assimilated.”—were the message of an alien race called The Borg that challenged the crew of the Starship Enterprise in various episodes. The Borg intended to assimilate everyone in the universe, including planet Earth, into their system of living—by force.
I remembered the TV series, so I got the joke. However, as I told my sons, “The need for quality and service systems for the benefit of a company’s customers, employee cooperation and compliance to the best standards is NO joke.”
If a company means to grow, it is my contention that employee resistance to good systems SHOULD be futile, and they SHOULD comply.
My youngest son, Brandon, chimed in with this observation, “Would an owner tolerate an hourly-paid employee (i.e., a machine operator) telling him, ‘I don’t feel like operating the machine today. I’m just not going to do it?’” Brandon went on to say, “I feel certain the owner would exercise his/her authority to insist the employee COMPLY and operate the machine or the employee would be escorted out the door.”
Truth: I would bet my Trekky membership card (if I had one), that if owners and managers fail to reduce waste and chaos in their companies—especially in competitive industries and a global economy—they will be ASSIMILATED or relegated to obsolescence by other companies that DO get it!
For those who GET the fact that great quality and service through systemization will win in the end, failure is not an option—resistance is futile.
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.