Episode 106

Creating Seamless Team Processes

March 15th, 2023


Today I’m chatting about continuous improvement in business and the fact that nothing is set in concrete.
We dive into:
  • Empowering our teams to thrive
  • Assessing all areas of the business
  • The who, the what, the where, the why
  • Different ways of working and collecting data
  • Creating a seamless process for your team

Connect with Nicole on Instagram @theartisansolutions 
Nicole’s website: https://theartisans.com.au/
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This podcast is produced by Good Chat Media


Welcome to Take Control with Nicole, as business owners we experience first hand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go.

Hello, hello, and welcome to Take Control with Nicole, what a fabulous week I had. Yesterday I was out and about in the world and went and joined one of my clients and their teams in what is part of the process that I really love when we’re looking at business operations. And enhancing the ways of working for teams and businesses and organisations and humans is the implementation stage and the training of the system and the team. It’s wonderful when you can see, every one of these beautiful humans are so excited about getting into this new system, pressing the buttons, learning how it works, asking the questions, finding those ways that you know have in the past been blockages or just that little bit more challenging to complete their work day in day out. And that’s why I do what I do. I love the experience of being able to support my clients to really design a way that not only supports them as a business owner and helping to streamline their business. And obviously, as a result of that increase revenue and all those sorts of things. But my heart shines when I see how these systems were designed and built are connected into the business into the team. And everyone just is joyful, that it’s now coming into their world.

So that was my day yesterday and ah, it was just so delightful. So, so delightful. And that brings me on to today’s topic of continuous improvement. A conversation we were having yesterday was around that, yes, we have designed and built this system as it is perfect for this moment in time. However, we know that businesses evolve, services evolve, humans evolve, we change the way we operate, who we support, how we support them, how we’re working as well, obviously, the last few years have been quite remotely. And what many of my clients have noticed is the lack or the reduce reduction words, reduction of person to person communication. Because we were working asyncly for the majority of the last two and a half, three years. There is another episode I’ve just released about async working so pop on back there and have a listen. But these tools in these systems that we are introducing a knot around replacement of the communication and the connection, we’re really here to have them enhance our experience. And so that’s where the continuous improvement comes on board.

As a business owner, we’re not the experts in all the pieces and puzzles of the parts of our businesses that are operating. We obviously know how and we know what and we know who but our role is to help the business to thrive, to grow, to manage our teams. I know this is something that I’m personally going through at the moment, I’m taking a step upwards into that CEO proper CEO in role and supporting now my team members to be empowered to do all their fabulous things, right. And what a big part of this is that empowerment piece is supporting our people to say Hey, Nicole, or hey, hey, you, hey, human, fabulous human. Have you thought about this? Because those conversations are the ones that really can open up doors to magic.

So where are we going to start? What are some areas to consider when we’re talking about continuous improvement, and I just touched on it here, our original design for our systems, or the tech or the ways of working are perfect for just now. So we sit in a room together on a zoom. And we talk about what’s happening in your business right now. What humans do we have in here right now, what are our skill sets? Who are our clientele, how are we are servicing, what are our offerings? How do we actually do the work? How do we capture it? Where does it go? Who does it? What are the steps to complete it? How do we hand it over all of those bits and pieces then formulate together into a beautiful system that then supports our team to do their fabulous creative work in their spaces. But it is perfect for right now, as I mentioned before, things change in our world right now, quite quickly. All of a sudden, we’ve now got these beautiful clients on board and quite a few of them, which is fabulous. And I needed to make the decision on what am I going to do. So we’ve made that shift. And as part of that we’re evolving the way we work in the business.

Now, I am pretty organised with our processes, and how things work and all those sorts of things. But it’s now time to take that shift. Now, if I had the mindset of this is it, this is the only way we do it. There is no other alternative, the system we use, the process we follow, I’m the one that has to do it, nothing can change. Imagine that experience. You will feel trapped, stuck, probably starting to move towards that sort of overwhelm phase of life, because so many things to do. Now, every stage of business as you transition, wherever you are, there is an element of this, this is life. But we have a choice on how we react to the external factors. We are humans, and we have a fabulous opportunity here to go, I’m going to sit in it or great, what can I do to get myself out of this right now? What is the next thing I can do? And what is enough as well? What is that enough moment? Anyway, divert for a second. So keeping in mind, nothing is set in concrete, there is always a way to have a look at and review what is going on. So that we can always support our growth in our business with the operations.

Oh, my goodness, so many times, I mean, my brain just got previously in my previous employed world, I arrive at a business. And my role would be to bring out operations up, bring them back up, because the the growth and the scale of the business has just exploded, which is fabulous. But the ops haven’t continued up. And this is a great thing as well. If you’re if you’re sitting here and you’ve got your team and you are in that growth phase, and you’re already feeling it, now’s the time, now’s the time to reach out to me or somebody in your world. If you’ve got an ops person in the business, take an opportunity to stop-check what is going on? And what do we need to do right now to support this continuous growth. Because I can tell you now when you do invest your time in the operations, your foundations of your business. So relieving, refreshing, it’s beautiful experience and your team will thank you.

Hello, there, I’m just interrupting this episode as I would love to invite you to come on in and join us inside The Members Lounge. My community have shared with me that they joined initially, because they really wanted to discover the power of ClickUp. They wanted to be able to design, build and connect their ClickUps within their own individual businesses. However, once they were inside, they really discovered how the power of looking at the foundations of your operational areas of your business and designing those really to set you up for success is such a powerful element, and guess what else ,we have a fabulous community inside. So once you’re in, you’re never gonna want to leave. So come on over, have a look. Go to my website, theartisans.com.au and pop up to The Members Lounge button at the top. And we look forward to supporting you as you discover how fabulous it is when you’re confidently striding down easy street. See you inside the lounge.

The next thing that I always love to talk about and I think I say it on the daily is there is always a way. So in our conversations yesterday with our fabulous clients, we have got to a point now where we’ve got a base structure of how we collect information in and what our team does with it. Over the table, we were having conversations around this individual situation. And this is how it’s working now and this is how the client is working in la la la. This is how I’d like to do it. Is that possible? My response is there is always away we have just not seen it right yet. So having a look at things a little bit away from this situation right in the middle. And what I mean by that is so, thinking broader, so yes, this is how we’re doing it right now. And this is how the client is behaving, and this is what they’re expecting.

But taking a step back and thinking, okay, as a business, what is it that we want to put into place or create as the go to fabulous experience for all of our clients, amazing. Work through the steps, get those things in place, build our systems to support it, involve our team as part of it. Because remember, change management is all about communication, connection, and really empowering people to be a part of the process, going through getting it live. Those anomalies, those extra parts that this historical client I’ve had for the lifespan of my business, and we do treat them a little bit differently. That’s the relationship I want to be able to slightly mould that, but ultimately, we need to have things a little differently. Great, fabulous, what are the unique indicators? What are these extra parts that we need to capture? Is it that we need to have a unique or an individual section where we actually give them access to the system and we live connect with them versus the other say standard way where we have a view of our projects, and we share that with them, but that still lives within our system, Clickup, Asana or whatever it might be. So keeping in mind that there is always a way. And it may not be just in your single system.

This is where we start to bring in automations, like Zapier or Integromat, Clickup does have its own native systems as well. But thinking that we don’t necessarily have to keep everything in the one solution. If it’s not fit for purpose, we, the aim of the game here is to make things enjoyable and easy. And if things are starting to feel clunky, what will happen is your team will start to divert to the easiest path, the path of least resistance. And when that happens all best plans. Remember nothing’s set concrete, let’s keep that in mind. They’re all best plans to have process followed A to Z, you will find it will not be happening, things will be missed. And it’s not going to be an enjoyable experience for you, for your clients, for your team for anyone, when those situations start to happen. So there’s always a way it’s just about how we’re looking at it. And hopefully you’ve got somebody either in your remit or contact somebody who just has that logical brain that can help you connect the dots together and really transform what could be a really clunky experience to beautiful streamlined experience with lovely documentation, Ah, love process documents, they’re the most amazing thing in the world. Okay, now, I’ve touched on this a few times already.

The next main thing is empowering your team. So, share with them your focus on this continuous improvement, you’re wanting to really create systems and the foundations of your business to support their experience as well as yours as well as the clients. They’re the experts in what they do each and every day. Because guess what, they’re doing it each and every day. Right? If you’ve got a graphic designer that sits on your team, just say you’ve got one in your world, and you go show them, you create a brief for them. And then all of a sudden, you’ve given them the process on how to design, what systems they have to use. You know what process they have creative process they have to go through, you’re squishing them into a box. If you’re a creative human listening out there, you would have experienced that moment where you’ve been squashed in a box and not been empowered and encouraged to let your creativity fly. Right? Empower your team to say, Hey, this is fabulous. But have we thought about this, this, this? Or maybe we actually don’t need 10 100 sub tasks and click up? Maybe we need a checklist. Because ultimately, I know the process, we know that we’ve got the overall deadline. There are so many micro actions that are going through these responsibilities and these outputs that we don’t need to have 10 100 sub tasks. Let’s do a checklist instead. Amazing. We’re getting the same results. We’re allowing our team to dance beautifully in their space working exactly how they want to work in the spaces and the environments that really enhance their creativity. And we’re also opening those lines of communication which ultimately will just such a beautiful experience.

The team yesterday, I can tell you when I walked in there, it was just so beautiful. I’m very privileged to be able to experience fabulous teams. Many of my clients come with teams of similar sizes, and all of them are so connected in and it’s really coming from that human centred element of how can we build our business to support our people. Because ultimately, if you are growing a business where you have a team, your team are integral to the success of the client experience of your experience as well. And so let’s let’s create a beautiful experience for them each and every day, because it just flows on so wonderfully, when when we do that. Taking the opportunity to encourage these conversations and be open to potential improvements that had just been out of your vision. I’m going to leave you with a couple of action points.

So first one, create and encourage conversations around where we can enhance our ways of working. Maybe in our weekly meetings, I remember one of my businesses I worked in, we would encourage our team to come with a one percenter what is a 1% improvement or a 1% enhancement that we can do for our business right now, schedule quarterly check ins on your tech and your key operational areas of business. That’s number two, this is something that in the busy busyness of the daily operations can be pushed to the side and we focus on the immediate things that are yelling at us. So the reactiveness versus the proactiveness.

So being able to create that space, and if it’s you, or you’ve delegated that to your internal humans, you might have different departments in charge of different areas. For instance, you know, you might have the finance humans doing Xero, but you’ve may not want them to have a look at Canva, for instance. So let’s be purposeful in our in our delegation, as well. But checking in on those systems, are they fit for purpose? Still? Are they financially viable still? Do we actually enjoy them? Are we paying for subscriptions that we don’t actually need any more. Our ways of working are things still feeling flowy and easy or have all of a sudden some things crept in that started to cause a little bit of pain for our team. And finally, support your team by connecting with the belief that there is always a way. If you live and breathe this, that nothing setting concrete, there’s always a way that is going to flow on through to everybody in your world. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve experienced it as well, people in my space, start saying things back to me that I’m saying there is always a way is one of them as well.

Thank you so much for joining me today. This is such an important topic that we do here around the world, but all around the traps, whatever you want to say. But when we actually start to connect it into our own businesses and our own ways of working our own operations, the magic starts to happen. Have a wonderful rest of your day and enjoy creating space and time freedom right now.

Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on social jazz? If not, please come on over. Say hi, I’m on all the platforms at the artisan solutions. So I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of course, share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week and until next time, see you then.



Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.