Episode 130

How Systems Support Business Growth

August 30th, 2023


Today we’re continuing on the journey of aligning your systems with your business bigs, and diving into how your systems can actually support you.
We dive into:
  • Reviewing any friction
  • Priorities for the business
  • Tweaking the tech
  • Project management adjustments
Connect with Nicole on Instagram and LinkedIn
TranscriptionWelcome to Take Control with Nicole. As business owners, we experience firsthand 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 navigate through your journey to where you want to be.

If you are looking for smarter ways to work and create, if you want space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go. Hello, I’m Nicole Smith, COO, Operations Specialist, and Systems Designer here at the Artisans Business Solutions. And welcome to Take Control with Nicole.

Today, we are going to continue on that fabulous conversation around aligning our business systems with our business. Bigs or your goals as you may know them. So today we’re going to shift that focus a little bit. We’re going to move that lens over into that question. I’m not meeting my business bigs.

Why? What’s going on? And how can your system support you? How can they? So let’s dive on in and continue that fabulous conversation. So from previous episodes, you know that you’ve already outlined those focuses and where you’re heading. We’ve talked about those big bigs, little bigs, small bigs, and micro-actions that you’re going to be taking to keep on stepping forward towards that focused area of action and how, when we align and support and structure our systems in a way to support you on that journey, how it can really elevate that experience for you as a user, as a business leader, your team, and all of those interactions that support you to take those steps.

And finally, celebrate that moment of achieving that big that you have been looking at in the distance for the longest time. Okay, so we’ve come to a point, we’re in the review stage and we’re looking at those micro-actions and those small bigs that we’ve outlined as part of our program and we’re just not meeting them for one reason or another.

The experience is not as we would like it to be experienced and it’s feeling. We’re feeling blocked. We’re feeling, uh, my team isn’t working towards those things that we’re looking at. And so what we want to do first and foremost is understand what the root cause of that blockage is. What is it and why are we not meeting those actions that we’ve set in front of us?

Is there a problem with the way that we’ve structured our systems? How are our processes designed to support ourselves in this move towards that big? How about our humans, our humans in our business? Have we supported them to actually? Understand and connect with your ways of working, with your systems, with your processes.

Do they know how this part of the puzzle that they are responsible for works in with the bigger picture of the business and what your goals and your bigs are for the next quarter year, etc.? Once you understand what that cause is, that root problem, that’s causing that friction, that blockage in your experience.

Fabulous. You’ve now got an opportunity to develop a new system, a new solution that’s going to continue to support you to move on forward. So again, let’s just start with one of those areas that can really support you to move forward and that’s your business systems. So in the past few episodes, we’ve spoken around how you can look at your systems and align them to those focused areas and those sort of key actions that you can take.

So it’s again, just reflecting on that. So now that you know what, you know, you’ve identified that problem, that cause, that root issue that is causing that experience not to be experienced as you would like it to be, how are your systems supporting that blockage? What is it in your day-to-day, in the way that you’re operating in your tech platforms?

So remember when we’re talking systems, it’s not just about the tech as much as we love the tech. It’s actually about that. How are we working as an organization together day to day to get those things happening? So what is happening in our world right now? Is it our humans that are not yet connected in? What is it and what do we need to do to support those activities to elevate those processes to look at the ways of working to tweak that tech.

Oh, that’s fun. Tweak that tech. That’s a new thing to support you to achieve those bigs. If there’s nothing in there, you know, if you don’t need to make changes, okay, well then a bigger conversation is happening. Are those bigs actually where we’re wanting to, to head? I know as a business leader, you know, every year or quarter, whenever it is, whenever you do your planning, you have these big ideas of where and what you want to do.

Sometimes they change. You’ve learned something new, you’ve identified a new way of working. You’ve realized that that’s not what you want to do. And that’s okay. As business leaders, we have that opportunity. However, it’s really an opportunity when you’re finding you’re not ticking those bigs off those micro-actions, those small bigs to get there.

Stop and pause and ask yourself that question. Is this big still a priority for my business? If it is, and we’re finding that our systems are not supporting it. Guess what? It’s time to implement a change. Let’s make those shifts. Let’s tweak that tech. Oh, I’m going to use that all the time. It’s so fun.

Let’s tweak that tech. You know, let’s have a look at how you are actually. Collecting and collating the data for tracking. Is it that when we’re going through the process of action, that actually things are happening and we’re just not utilizing the systems to make those records happening. So for instance, if one of your bigs was to increase.

Duh, and duh, right? Insert words there. You can, I’ll let you do that. Increase the numbers in the metrics there, right? And we’re not seeing the stats changing. It’s just flatlining. Okay. Well, what is that problem? Why are we not seeing any changes to our reporting data? Are we actually capturing the data properly?

Is what we’re trying that strategy that we’re looking to action each and every day, maybe it’s. It’s not the right strategy, so let’s tweak it. Let’s move it. You know, are our people just not doing the doing? Are you not doing the doing? When I say humans, it’s all of us as business leaders, we get busy as a team, we get busy.

So where is our focus focused? That’s a good one. Is our focus focused on those bigs? Have we communicated with our team? I mentioned this before, have we communicated with our team, the importance of what we’re doing and why we’re doing the things we’re doing to support us to move through to the next phase? Communication and really bringing our.

Selves and our team on that journey for where we’re heading is an integral part of change management, really involve them in that process. So they understand their roles and responsibilities, how they are an important piece of the puzzle to do their actions as big or as small as they may be. And all of those moments forward really combined together to

reach that big that we’re looking to do.

So if you’ve identified there’s a piece of tech that’s not working, let’s have a look, go back to our workflows, go back to our processes, first and foremost, identify where that blockage is in there. If there is, as I said, if there is a piece of tech, what do we need to do to that tech? Is it evolving?

First and foremost, we don’t want to go and replace something if it’s a minor tweak. Right? So what is it in your technology right now that is not supporting you? Let’s talk about project management tool ClickUp. Right? Just let’s put some parameters around it. So for our bigs, we are doing project X and we have that planned out in ClickUp.

And however, it’s really convoluted. So instead of a beautiful structured approach, so we’ve got our top-level goal, our top-level big, and then the micro-actions, there’s just one massive list with no custom fields, with no dates, no assignees, no clear instructions, no central location to find all of the files and all the things.

Beautiful. Issue identified. 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 has 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 the power of looking at the foundations of the operational areas of your business and designing those really to set you up for success. Such a powerful element. And guess what else? We have a fabulous community inside. So once you’re in, you’re never going to 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.

We now know that it’s too convoluted for our teams to come on in and connect with what they are asked to be doing and when we want them to do it by. So a simple solution. Structure the data. Let’s come right back to the data. How have you entered this information into your project management tool so that it’s easy to understand, it’s really easy to connect with, and so when you’re in there, you might have lots of multiple micro tasks in there, but you’ve got different views in place so that your team can easily come in and know their part of that puzzle.

One tip that we had introduced for clients in the past and also just brought it over into our world. Funnily enough, you know, we’re building and designing systems each and every day for our clients and like everyone, our internal home, we’re having a big shake-up at the moment for the last six months we have been.

And one of those changes is to introduce an additional date custom field to capture the delivery date. So one of the downfalls of these project management systems is you have a due date. Which is fabulous. Yes. We want to get the thing done by when, right? When you start bringing a team on board and you are not micromanaging your team.

So you’ve given them autonomy, you’re encouraging autonomy for them to plan their days and have their actions structured to support their energies and their, you know, their creative zones and all those sorts of things. And you’ve got a single due date. How do you know what’s going on because that due date is going to be sat there and they may not feel confident to update that due date because they think that that’s the delivery date or whatever it might be.

Right. So introduce a handover date field. And that means that as a team, we know as a collective unit, this thing. Is going to be completed by this date. Our due date field is now left for action. So it’s now our action date field. So that means our team, you as a business leader, whoever is in as part of that delivery of those bigs, knows that they can go on in.

They’ve got that guide. They’ve got that. We want this completed by, we want to be able to celebrate this by this, have it delivered. Wonderful. So I now know with the capacity that I’m having as a human in your team, I’ve got an hour to do this action, pop it on into my schedule at that due date. We’re going to be tracking time.

Don’t forget to do that. That’s always a good, another good metric to really. We see, you know, how we’re progressing and what investment of energy and time and finances as well, because we’re paying ourselves, we’re paying our team. When we’re capturing all that data and we’ve got a system that supports our people to dance and move and play beautifully each and every day and easily.

It’s wonderful. Just a breath of fresh air. There’s no. Looking over here, looking over there. Where are we going? It’s clear. I know that to support my business, to be moving towards those bigs, this is where I’m going to find it in my ClickUp project management tool. This is the structure that I’ve got in place.

And I can easily see using a dashboard, using a particular view that I’ve designed within ClickUp, exactly the status of where we are at. Now, if you are in ClickUp and you want to take it to the next level, you can actually action and use, there’s a goals feature within there, and you can link those lists and those tasks already in there.

So again, reporting, high-level metrics, where are we at? What percentage have we got to all of those things. So that’s just one example of a piece of tech and a tweak that you could make to really support you and your team to continually move through those micro-moments, those small bits and to reach at those bigs and have those celebration moments, some initial things to think about.

Encourage the questions, ask for support, look for support. If there’s nobody in your team directly, look outward. Who is it in your community that knows about these things, that can support you to tweak your tech? I love that, I’m going to use that all the time, I love it, tweak your tech. You know. Do you need to get a bit clearer on what your actual bigs are?

Go and reach out to your business coach. Or there are so many amazing humans in this world that have these beautiful, strategic skills that can help you to transform your mind, your mind madness, your crazy stuff going in there and be able to really hone it in and make it focused and give you that structure, right?

You got that structure there. You bring your structure in your business and bam, that’s when the magic happens. Be patient as well. We want things to happen instantly. We are in a world of instant gratification. Think about social media, think about our mobile phones, think about email, think about websites, all the things, click a button and it happens.

That’s not real life. Actions that are important to you as a business to move you forward, take energy. Take time, take resources, and when you actually allow yourself to be in that process and enjoy it. You will really enjoy the results when you get to that moment. Let’s not rush these things. Sometimes you can make, you know, quick tweaks to your technology.

However, sometimes when you have been say in business for 20 years, plus you might have a team of 15 plus people. And you know that there is a change to be made to work towards those bigs. Give yourself and your, your business and your team, the space to be able to plan those strategic changes out beautifully and give you the same amount of space and energy to implement them.

To really support you for success, change takes energy and time. And when it’s beautifully structured, the experience. It will be one of a smooth transition across, you’ll feel supported, you’ll enjoy it. And you really connect in with that reason why you’ve started your business. Making it simple, really enjoyable.

And all of a sudden your role in the business won’t be as much as that doing, doing, doing the working in the business all the time, you’ll be leading your business. Such a beautiful change, such a beautiful shift. And finally, just stay focused on them. Sorry. If you’ve got these things that you’re moving towards.

Sometimes we can get distracted over there, bright, shiny object or new piece of thing over here, or new things happening. But if you keep on bringing on in, coming into where you’ve captured in your ClickUp or your tool, whatever it might be, make that a weekly thing. I’ve now introduced that for our new quarterly bigs that we have in place each Monday and my sort of CEO time.

I’ve got a checklist of reports that I run. Of check-ins that I do. And one of those are our quarterly goals. What are those actions, how we’re tracking and where is it that I need to invest a little bit more energy or support my humans to be doing the same thing? Well, I hope that from today you have.

Experienced how we can shift the way that we’re working to support ourselves, be it towards our bigs or be it towards the daily operations of your business, supporting your team to really align those strategies and those systems together. And so all of a sudden it’ll be beautiful and easy and you feel very supported in your business.

Well, thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you have the most fabulous rest of your week creating clever systems for your business. Bye now.


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.