DEEP SUMMARY - SYSTEMology_ Create time, reduce errors an - Jenyns, David

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"Hi David, my name is Luz Delia Gerber. I'm Michael Gerber's wife and assistant."

David: “Oh, okay. Wow, what a surprise!”

Luz Delia: “I know, I'm sorry to surprise you like this. Listen, Michael has been following you and your work online recently and he's become quite a fan. He asked me this morning to reach out to you to see if you might have any interest in coming to work with us for a while to help further develop some of the intellectual property and tools around E-Myth.”

David: “Luz, that is extremely flattering and somewhat surprising. I have to admit, I am a massive fan of Michael's work. That phone call asking me to come work with you both would be like the holy grail of phone calls for me. So I have to say I would jump at the opportunity, even just for a short period of time, to come over and work with you both.”

Luz Delia: "Wonderful! Michael will be thrilled to hear that. We were thinking, if you're open to it, to bring you on for maybe 2 to 3 months to start, all expenses paid of course, and have you work directly with Michael to help further develop some of the E-Myth methodologies and tools. Perhaps even work on another book together. Would that be of interest?"

David: “Luz, that sounds like an absolute dream come true. I have to pinch myself that this phone call is actually happening. Working with Michael, even for a short period of time, let alone potentially on another book, would be just life-changing for me. I would absolutely jump at that opportunity.”

Luz Delia: "Fantastic, I'm so glad to hear you're as excited about this as we are. Let me talk to Michael and get some more details around dates and logistics. We'll be in touch again very soon. Thank you so much, David. We're really looking forward to working with you!"

David: “Likewise, Luz. I have to say, my mind is blown by this phone call. Please pass on my thanks and excitement to Michael. I look forward to speaking with you again soon.”

Luz Delia: "I will, thank you David. Talk to you soon!"

David: “Thanks Luz, bye!”

Luz Delia: "Goodbye!"

I hung up the phone, stared at the wall of my home office and tried to process what had just happened. Within the space of a few minutes, my whole world had shifted. Not just my work, but the implications of where I might find myself in a few months’ time. The opportunities. The people I would meet and work with. The growth. All of it seemed almost too good to be true.

Which, of course, it was.

About 10 minutes later I received another email, this time from Michael Gerber directly. It read:

David, I hope you’ll forgive our little prank this morning. That was not actually my wife Luz on the phone. We came across your work recently and were so impressed with what you’ve built that we wanted to play a little scenario with you to see how you might respond if an opportunity like that were to arise.

Needless to say, you passed with flying colors! Not only are you clearly doing great work, but you exhibited the perfect mindset and attitude that would serve you well if an opportunity like that were to materialize.

Well done. Keep up the good work. And who knows, maybe we’ll be in touch again one day with a real invitation!

All the best,

Michael

To say I was stunned would be an understatement, but the overriding emotion was actually one of relief. As exciting as the prospect had seemed, my business simply wasn’t in a position for me to disappear for months at a time. I had a young family, staff, clients and commitments that depended on my presence and input.

The call and follow up email were a sobering reminder that if I wanted to build a business, rather than purchase myself a job, I needed to get serious about putting proper systems and processes in place. I needed to work ON the business, not just IN it.

Within a month, I had hired my first dedicated systems and process manager. Within six months, I took my first proper two-week holiday. And within 12 months, I successfully exited one of my businesses having put the systems and team in place to ensure a smooth transition to the new owners.

None of this happened by accident. What started as an awkward phone call became the catalyst for transforming how I thought about building businesses and setting them up for scale and sale. I discovered that by following a simple seven-stage system, any business owner can build a company that’s not reliant on any single person. A business that’s built to run itself.

This systemised approach is what I now call SYSTEMology. And it’s the subject of this book.

By the end of this book, you’ll understand:

• Why systemisation is the number one thing you can do to improve business value, efficiency, productivity and work-life balance.

• The seven stages of building a truly systemised business including tools and templates to support implementation.

• How to remove yourself from critical day-to-day tasks so you can work ON the business, not just IN the business.

• Strategies and examples for overcoming the roadblocks that often trip up systemisation efforts.

• A step-by-step framework for auditing, evaluating and optimising existing systems.

• How to leverage the four types of business systems – management, operational, support and growth systems.

• Why the alternative to systemisation is a business that relies entirely on you which often results in burnout, low productivity and business frustration.

My goal is to provide you with a simple yet comprehensive resource for building sustainable and saleable businesses through effective systemisation. I want to show you how to turn a business that feels like it’s consuming your whole life into an asset that actually funds the kind of life you want to lead.

Whether you’re looking to strengthen existing systems, remove yourself from critical tasks, improve productivity, build business value or plan your eventual exit, SYSTEMology is the step-by-step system you need.

Are you ready to transform how you think about your business? To build powerful systems and predictable results? To gain time, money and freedom?

Then let’s dive in. Your systemised business is waiting to be built.

Here is a summary:

• The author received an unexpected call from Luz Delia, the wife of the business author Michael Gerber. She wanted the author to help launch Gerber’s new book.

• The author was a huge fan of Gerber’s work but taking on this project would require putting his own business on hold for 3 months. However, because the author had developed his “SYSTEMology” approach, he knew his business could run smoothly without him for that time.

• The launch of Gerber’s book was very successful, reaching #1 on Amazon within 24 hours. Gerber then invited the author to more events and even offered him a role running Gerber’s business. The author declined but called the experience “magical.”

• The key lesson is that opportunities in business are often random and serendipitous. Success is not linear or formulaic. You have to be ready to seize opportunities when they arise unexpectedly.

• Many business owners miss opportunities because they are too busy dealing with day-to-day work. The purpose of SYSTEMology is to systematize a business so the owner has more freedom and flexibility.

• Business owners often work crazy hours not because they want to but because they have to in order to prevent the business from falling apart. SYSTEMology provides the freedom to choose how involved you want to be in the day-to-day operations of the business.

• While hard work and persistence are important, breakthroughs and opportunities often come when business owners create space in their schedules. Systems are key to engineering this space.

• This book is not about mindset, vision, values or goals. It is about practical strategies and resources for systematizing and streamlining a business. The benefits include reduced stress, improved life balance, and the ability to capitalize on more opportunities.

Here's a summary:

  • The book aims to solve the problem of business owners being stuck in their business and unable to step away for long. The solution is developing business systems.

  • Most businesses fall into one of four stages:

  • Survival: No systems, chasing work, problem-solving mode. Team makes it up as they go. Business owner is bottleneck.

  • Stationary: Some loose systems but still team-dependent. Feels like spinning plates. Reached capacity but can't break through. Need to extract core systems.

  • Scalable: Good systems emerging. Improved performance and shifting culture. Need to develop more systems. Danger of feeling "good enough" and getting trapped. Move to "this is how we do things" thinking.

  • Saleable: Precision systems, independent of people. Able to be strategic. Competitive advantage and constant improvement. Complete reliability. Ultimate goal.

  • Need to determine your business's stage to know where you are and where you're going. Most start at the Survival stage. The key is extracting and documenting core systems to move beyond Survival and Stationary. Getting to Scalable and then Saleable delivers the biggest wins and opportunities.

  • At Survival and Stationary, the business owner is usually the bottleneck and doesn't see systems as the solution or recognize they aren't the best to develop systems. Moving to the higher stages requires a culture shift to follow and believe in the systems.

The key message is that developing business systems is how owners can get "unstuck" from their business and achieve growth, scale, and saleability. The systems provide precision, reliability, and a competitive advantage—freeing the owner and team to be strategic. But it requires diligently moving up through the stages and making both a systems and culture change.

Here is a summary:

The first stage in systemizing your business is to define the critical systems. You do not need hundreds of systems to systemize a business. You only need to focus on your target audience, core offering, and critical client flow.

The goal of this stage is to identify 10-15 of the most important systems to start with. This process can help uncover parts of your business you never considered systemizing before.

Key points:

  • SYSTEMology was created to help business owners gain freedom through systemization.

  • Business systems are repeatable processes that allow a business to operate efficiently and consistently. They matter because they reduce waste, minimize mistakes, and create leverage.

  • Having too many convoluted systems can prevent systemization. It's best to start simple.

  • To determine your critical systems:

  • Define your target audience and core offering. Focus on one primary audience and service.

  • Map your critical client flow. The critical client flow includes the key steps a client goes through in your business from first contact to final delivery. Identify the most important touchpoints in that flow.

  • For each touchpoint, ask yourself what business systems need to be in place to ensure a great client experience. Aim for 10-15 systems to start.

  • Don't get overwhelmed. Start with quick wins to build momentum, then address more complex systems. You can always optimize systems over time.

The key is to not overcomplicate the process. Focus on the essential systems that drive your most important client flow and build from there. With patience and consistency, systemizing your business will become second nature.

Here's a summary:

The key points are:

  1. The author had a successful digital agency but was working extremely long hours and was stressed. He didn't want this lifestyle with a new baby on the way.

  2. He knew he had to change how he did business if he wanted to spend time with his family. The options were to sell the business, downsize it, or restructure it so it could run without him. He chose the third option.

  3. It took about 12 months, but he was able to systematize his business and hire a CEO to replace him. He is still involved at a high level but works minimal hours.

  4. The motivation of wanting more time with his family drove this transformation. For others, the motivation could be reducing stress, improving the business, or eventually selling it.

  5. The key to making a business less dependent on the owner is implementing systems - standardized processes that produce predictable results. Systems can apply to all areas of a business.

  6. The systems should be kept simple. Start by breaking down the business into components and build simple systems around the critical elements. An "overview system" captures the high-level steps. More detailed systems can support it.

  7. It's important not to get too granular and bogged down in the details. Take a high-level view and keep things simple.

  8. The example of the internet cafe shows how systematizing a business can make it much more valuable to sell because it's not dependent on the owner.

The main takeaway is that creating simple, scalable systems within your business can free you from the day-to-day operations and open up more time and opportunities. The key is starting with the motivation and taking the time to properly build out the systems.

Here is a summary:

The author shared an experience of working with an E-Myth coach who created an extensive system of hundreds of documents to systematize his digital marketing business. However, this approach failed because:

  1. It was too overwhelming for employees to navigate and make sense of.

  2. The systems were prone to frequent changes due to the fast-changing nature of digital marketing, making it nearly impossible to keep the systems up-to-date.

This experience taught the author two key lessons:

  1. Do not over-document your business systems. The Pareto principle applies here - 20% of your systems will generate 80% of the results. Focus on identifying and optimizing the critical few systems.

  2. To identify the critical systems, map out your "Critical Client Flow" which tracks the key stages of your client journey and your business operations to deliver your core product or service. This helps uncover the essential systems required to consistently attract and convert new clients.

The author outlines a step-by-step process to define your Critical Client Flow:

  1. Identify one primary target client and one core product or service you sell to them. Focus on your "dream clients" and the product that opens the door to a long-term relationship.

  2. Map the key linear stages from getting your target clients' attention to delivering your product and turning them into repeat clients. Only include what you currently do - don't plan new activities. The stages typically include:

  3. Attention: How do people find you? E.g. SEO, ads, referrals

  4. Enquiry: How do prospects contact you? E.g. call, web form
  5. Sales: How do you close the sale? E.g. checkout, proposals
  6. Money: How do you collect payment? E.g. cash, invoice
  7. Onboarding: How do you get new clients started? E.g. questionnaires, project setup
  8. Delivery: How do you deliver your product or service?
  9. Repeat/Referral: How do you get repeat business or referrals?

  10. Keep the descriptions brief - just a few words for each stage. Avoid overthinking or going into too much detail. Focus on capturing the essential high-level flow.

The Critical Client Flow exercise provides tremendous insight into your business and helps identify the core systems you need to systematize. It is a key first step in optimizing your business systems.

Here is a summary:

• The business owner is typically the worst person to develop systems and processes. They often micromanage and complicate things unnecessarily.

• To remove key person dependency, responsibility for systems development should be assigned to capable team members.

• An action plan should be created to detail who is developing what systems and processes by when.

• Modelling the best team members is an effective way to rapidly develop systems. Their knowledge and skills should be leveraged.

• The business owner needs to learn to let go and trust their team. Constantly interfering with daily operations is counterproductive.

• In the example, the business owner should have trusted the team member in charge of the event to handle issues, rather than panicking and micromanaging the situation. The team member had already addressed the concern before the owner even contacted them.

• The key is for business owners to evolve past the tendency to believe that only they can do things “right.” Responsibility and control need to be assigned to others.

Here is a summary:

  • The business owner is typically the worst person to be documenting systems.

  • Identify key departments, responsibilities, and team members who have expertise and knowledge. These people should be involved in systemizing the business, not the owner.

  • Create a Departments, Responsibilities & Team Chart (DRTC) to determine who should be involved in systemizing different areas of the business. The DRTC has the following steps:

  • Identify key departments like marketing, sales, operations, HR, etc. These departments represent the major functions of the business.

  • Assign the responsibilities of each department. Break down the steps from the business's client fulfillment chart and assign them to the relevant departments.

  • Assign department heads to take ownership of each department. The department heads should make decisions for their departments.

  • Identify additional "knowledgeable workers" in each department who can provide expertise. Only include those directly involved in critical systems.

  • Assign critical systems to the knowledgeable workers. Briefly describe a few sentences about what each system is meant to achieve. Focus on the 20% of tasks that drive 80% of results.

  • The goal is to remove the business owner from being the head of all or most departments. The systemization process should not fall completely on the shoulders of the owner. Once there are additional team members, the business is ready to build systems.

  • Keep the summaries and descriptions of systems brief by focusing on the most critical and essential parts. Avoid complexity by only including what's necessary. Simple is better.

The key takeaway is that systemizing a business is most effective when the owner is not overly involved or in control of the process. Tap into the knowledge and expertise of key team members instead. Keep the number of systems and their descriptions straightforward and focused on high-impact areas.

Here is a summary:

• Creating systems does not have to be time-consuming and painful. The SYSTEMology method makes it much easier by turning it into a two-person job.

• Have a knowledgeable worker who does the task well share their knowledge. Then have a “systems champion” document the information by asking questions and recording the steps.

• Get buy-in from your team by explaining the benefits of systemization. Have them pick the systems they want to document and set deadlines. Provide incentives and recognition for their work.

• Appoint a “systems champion” for each department. Their role is to keep the momentum going by scheduling interviews, documenting processes, and following up. They report to the department head.

• Don’t use long, boring documents with lots of screenshots and flowcharts. Keep procedures simple with short sentences or bullet points, and only include visuals when absolutely necessary.

• Start with a brief overview, then document procedures in a logical step-by-step sequence. Include things like resources needed, time required, potential issues, and key results or outcomes.

• Review and test the procedures, then launch and train your team. Continue optimizing over time based on feedback.

• The key is to keep things simple. Don’t aim for perfection, just capture the key steps to get started. You can always refine and improve later on. The important thing is to avoid “paralysis by analysis” and just get started.

Does this help summarize the key points? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

Here's a summary:

• Identify the result you want to achieve with the system. For example, handling inbound enquiries. Name the system clearly, e.g. 'Handling an incoming enquiry'.

• Identify the knowledgeable worker who produces this result. Check your DRTC to see who was marked as responsible for this task.

•Determine the best method to capture the worker's knowledge. For office tasks, use screen recording software. For physical tasks, use a camera. For sales, use a phone recorder. Alternatively, have the worker roleplay or walk through the steps.

•Record the task being completed. Explain the benefits of systematization to the worker, e.g. ensuring work can be delegated when they're away. Have them outline key steps before recording and stress the aim is to capture the current process, not optimize it yet. Prepare and reassure anyone uncomfortable being recorded.

•Let the knowledgeable worker describe each step as they do the task. Capture every detail to make documentation easier. Don't worry about perfection - just capture the current process.

•Review and edit the recording to ensure maximum accuracy. Get the worker's input. Keep the system as simple as possible.

• Test and optimize the system by having others complete the task, then gather feedback. Refine and simplify the system as needed.

• Implement the system across your whole team and organization. Provide training to bring everyone up to the same standard.

• Continue monitoring, improving and simplifying the system over time. Systems must remain living documents.

Here is a summary:

  • Don’t worry too much about mistakes or interruptions in the recording. They can be edited out later. Keep recording and have the knowledgeable worker explain any errors.

  • If the task needs to be done in stages, record each stage separately and combine them later.

  • The first version won’t be perfect. It will improve over time with revisions. Apply the Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement.

  • Decide how you will store the documented systems, either using file storage or systems management software. Create folders for different business departments.

  • Include the following in the system document:

› System title - concise but descriptive, consider search terms › System description - brief, states purpose and outcomes › Relevant links - to videos, templates, resources › Knowledgeable worker - the point of contact › Team members - others trained to do the task

  • Have the systems champion document the steps by watching the video. Make the steps as detailed as needed using sub-bullets and clarifying comments. The goal is for someone with some knowledge to understand what needs to be done.

  • Review the draft system with the knowledgeable worker as they do the task again. Get feedback and make any needed changes. Also have management review for impact on the department and business. Avoid major changes, just capture the current process.

  • Have another team member follow the system, watching the video and asking the knowledgeable worker any questions. This will expose any remaining issues to address. Iterate as needed.

  • Once refined, the system can be used to cross-train more team members. This builds redundancy and addresses key person dependency.

    Here's a summary of the key points:

• Systems-centered businesses are more valuable because their success can be replicated. They are less reliant on the owners and can be franchised or sold.

• Software alone will not systematize a business. Well-documented processes and a culture where systems are followed are more important.

• Systems documentation and project management should be kept separate. Systems provide the framework, while project management deals with specific initiatives.

• The most common mistake when automating workflows is skipping the documentation step. Software requires well-defined processes to be effective.

• The business in the example, Planet 13, became a successful franchise by developing simple but effective systems, not expensive software. Documentation, training, and culture were the priorities.

• Systems are assets that add value because they make a business replicable and less reliant on specific individuals.

Does this summary accurately reflect the key points from the chapter? Let me know if any part of the summary is unclear or needs improvement. I'm happy to clarify or rephrase as needed.

Here is a summary:

Valuable lessons were learned from building a business from scratch. The key takeaway is that creating systems or processes that can generate revenue repeatedly with little additional effort is the key to extraordinary leverage and financial success.

While the specifics of the business being discussed are left out, the author describes building a systems-run business as the most valuable type of company. Systems provide efficiency, reliability, scalability and the ability to function independently of any single employee. They give potential buyers confidence in the business’s ability to continue succeeding after a sale. The author considers systems to be a business’s most important asset.

Two types of software are crucial for developing and implementing systems:

  1. Systems management software: A central repository for documenting and storing all business processes and procedures. It provides the ‘how-to’ manual for all roles and tasks.

  2. Project management software: Used to assign and track tasks, deadlines and team communication. It increases accountability and reduces confusion, missed tasks and excuses. While small teams can potentially rely on systems management software alone, project management software becomes essential as a team grows to ensure systems are actually followed.

Combining these two types of software allows for clear task assignment, accessible instructions, increased efficiency, reduced errors and standardized results. They also allow business owners to stay informed about operations even when not actively involved.

The key is simply having tools to meet the needs for systems documentation and project management. The specific software used is less important than how well it suits a company’s needs. If current software is not working, evaluating options to find the missing elements is important. But if existing software is functioning, there is no need to switch.

In summary, building a successful business requires creating leverage through reusable systems and processes. The right software tools can help build, implement and manage systems to generate that leverage. But the software itself is not the answer; it merely supports an effective systems-focused strategy.

Here is a summary of the criteria:

Project management software:

• Basic task creation: Allows creating tasks, assigning them to team members, setting deadlines, tagging other members for updates. This is fundamental.

• Sub-task creation: Allows splitting tasks into sub-tasks and steps. Critical for accountability and ensuring projects progress as planned.

• Task descriptions and links: Allows adding notes, instructions and links to tasks. Helpful for educating new team members and setting clear expectations.

• Task list templates: Allows creating tasks from templates to save time. Helpful when tasks are repeated often.

• Permission levels: Controls what team members can access. Useful for security, focus and ease of use.

• Intuitive and easy to use: An easy to use platform is critical for adoption. Complicated systems create friction and reduce use.

• Consider a focus group: Get feedback from team members before final choice. Address any criticisms.

• Think ‘human automation’ first: Perfect systems manually before automating. Automate only what’s worth automating.

Systems management software:

• Provides a centralized place to store systems and processes. Solves the problem of scattered, disorganized information.

• Version control: Tracks changes to documents over time. Useful for compliance and recoverability.

• Searchability: Makes systems and processes easy to find when needed.

• Permissions: Controls access to sensitive information.

• Integration: Some systems integrate with project management software for efficiency. But keeping systems management and project management separate is advised. Integrated solutions often involve compromises and unnecessary complexity.

• Mobility: Access to systems on the go via mobile apps is useful. But not critical.

• Automation: Some systems offer automation and integration with other software. But start with human automation first before investing in a complex automated system.

The key is to first evaluate if moving to new systems management and project management software is worth the effort. If current tools can be worked around, that may be easier. But for growing businesses, dedicated software solutions will likely help in the long run. The criteria provided can help determine the best options based on specific needs and priorities.

Here is a summary:

• Getting your team to buy in and follow your systems is critical to success. Simply having systems in place is not enough.

• Change management is challenging but there are proven strategies to help, like positioning benefits to individuals and involving people in the process.

• Examine your own strengths, weaknesses, and past failures to gain perspective. The two most important roles are visionary and integrator.

• Deal with resistance by having one-on-one conversations, providing more context, setting clear expectations, and following through with consequences if needed. Difficult team members who won’t get on board may need to be let go.

• Foster a culture where people feel valued and systems are used collaboratively. Celebrate wins and examples of good system use. Build accountability into daily habits and software.

• Additional tips for integration include starting with low-hanging fruit, keeping things simple, being flexible to feedback, and consistently communicating the why behind changes.

The key steps to integrate your systems are:

  1. Examine your strengths, weaknesses, and past failures. Identify the two key roles of visionary and integrator.

  2. Have one-on-one conversations with team members about the changes. Provide context, set expectations, and get buy-in. Deal with resistance and difficult team members.

  3. Foster an collaborative culture where people and systems are valued. Celebrate success, build accountability, and keep communicating.

  4. Focus on quick wins, simplicity, and flexibility. Consistently communicate the reasoning behind changes.

  5. Follow through with consequences if systems are not adopted. Make system use a habit and part of daily software and processes.

Does this summary cover the key highlights from the chapter? Let me know if you have any other questions.

Here is a summary:

  • Stage 4 of SYSTEMology can be challenging as it requires pushing people out of their comfort zone and changing old habits. Persistence and determination are needed.

  • The biggest challenges will come from existing team members who are set in their ways. New team members will adapt quickly.

  • As a business owner, be honest in assessing your own strengths and weaknesses. Recognize if you are not the best person to lead the change to a systems-focused culture. It requires accountability and telling people what needs to be done.

  • A “yin to the yang” —a counterbalance—is needed. Someone who values systems, is a good people manager, pushes back when rules aren’t followed, and provides balance to the visionary leader.

  • The roles of leader and manager are different but both are needed. The leader is the visionary, problem-solver, and idea generator. The manager executes, ensures accountability, and is process-driven.

  • Examples of successful leader-manager partnerships include Walt and Roy Disney, Henry Ford and James Couzens, and Ray Kroc and Fred Turner.

  • As a startup founder, you are likely the leader. A manager is needed to scale the business. Finding the right partnership or handing over control to a qualified manager is key.

  • Making the transition to a managerial role or finding the right manager takes time. The leader must learn to let go of control and allow the manager to do their job. With the right partnership, growth can be exponential.

    Here’s a summary:

• Identify a systems champion to lead the implementation of SYSTEMology in your business. This could be an existing manager, department head or senior team member.

• Know the key benefits of SYSTEMology to effectively communicate them to your partners, managers, team members and clients. These include improved efficiency, higher quality work, reduced errors, improved onboarding, less micromanagement, identified capability gaps, empowered team, duplicated best practices, improved client results, more strategic time, scalability, business value, and continuity.

• Introduce SYSTEMology in a top-down manner. Start with your partners, then managers and department heads, then team members. Address concerns and frame the benefits for each group. Don’t move on until you have buy-in from the current group.

• Begin extracting systems by working through your Critical Client Flow. Have your systems champion lead the process with the help of your knowledgeable workers. Make it as easy as possible for them.

• Introduce software to store and access your systems. Add links to your systems in any existing project management software. The goal is to have systems easily available when needed. Don’t expect immediate, constant use of the systems. Managers should ensure completion and quality.

• Manage your team through the use of systems. Train them to first look to the systems for answers before asking questions. This empowers them and reduces dependence on individuals. As a leader, avoid reverting to old habits of trying to solve all problems yourself. Look to the systems for answers as well. This reinforces the system-first mindset.

• The key is to make your systems central to how your business operates. They should empower your team and provide a resource for self-sufficient answers and accountability. But this is an evolution that requires ongoing management and reinforcement.

Here is a summary:

  • This environment encourages team members to report issues without fear of blame. The focus is on improving the system, not blaming individuals.
  • Team members are held accountable for following the processes. If issues arise from not following the processes, further training or consequences may be needed.
  • There are often reasons for resistance to change, including job security concerns, workload concerns, or unwillingness to change. It is best to understand the root causes of resistance and address them.
  • Building a systems-thinking culture is important for success. Recruit people suited to systems-thinking, clearly communicate the importance of systems, and lead by example.
  • Not everyone will adopt a systems-thinking mindset. Some people will resist no matter what. It is best to discover this early and make difficult decisions.
  • A case study shows how a company grew too quickly to handle, improved their systems, and was able to scale in a controlled manner.

The key message is that creating a systems-thinking culture, addressing resistance, holding people accountable, and making difficult decisions when needed are all important for successfully implementing systems in an organization. With the right mindset and follow-through, systems can be used to enable growth and scale.

Here is a summary of the key points:

• Systematizing operations is key to scaling a business. It ensures consistency, efficiency and the ability to leverage opportunities.

• Documenting and streamlining the Critical Client Flow was the first step. This allowed them to keep ads running for an entire year without interruptions.

• Growth requires solutions to new challenges. A culture of systems-thinking allows for swift and efficient solutions.

• The key steps to integrate systems are:

  1. Identify a leader to drive the initiative.

  2. Understand the benefits of systematization.

  3. Educate the team about SYSTEMology.

  4. Start extracting and documenting current systems and processes.

  5. Implement tools and software to support the systems.

  6. Manage the business through the systems.

  7. Address any resistance to change.

  8. Foster a culture where systems-thinking is the norm.

• To scale, you need to systematize and organize the critical systems required for growth. The business should not depend on any single person.

• Key myths to overcome: Systematization does not destroy creativity. In fact, it frees up mental space for creativity.

• The key steps to scale are:

  1. Identify critical systems for growth in finance, HR, management, and other key departments.

  2. Select team members with knowledge in those areas to help extract the systems.

  3. Capture current best practices for most systems. HR can be an exception. Undocumented ideal processes can also be recorded.

  4. Send star team members on vacation to test the systems and identify any gaps.

• The end goal is to reach a point where the business has no single-person dependencies and can leverage every opportunity.

Here is a summary of 5–8 core systems for the department based on your instructions:

  1. Hiring
  2. Onboarding
  3. Leave requests
  4. Daily team member routines
  5. Annual team member reviews

    Here is a summary:

Don’t try to imitate McDonald’s level of systemization. Their systems are the result of decades of work and optimization. You need to start from where you currently are, not where you want to be eventually. Focus on establishing a solid baseline first before optimizing.

Watching too many metrics causes confusion and slows progress. Identify a few key metrics to track and optimize those.

Make systems improvement simple, fun and automatic. Keep tweaking and testing to make steady progress. Don’t aim for perfection right away.

The secret to accelerating optimization is consistency. Work on your systems regularly and monitor key metrics to gain visibility into what’s working and not working. Then make adjustments.

Optimizing your systems is a continuous process of identifying problems, making improvements, and monitoring results. When your team becomes good at this, it leads to business reliability.

Start by creating a dashboard to gain visibility into your key metrics. Then you can begin the process of optimization through steady progress and consistency.

Here's a summary:

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. There are interconnected systems in a business and small changes in one area can impact other areas.

Step 1: Create a dashboard to measure key performance metrics. Focus on 5-7 metrics across the customer journey:

  • Attention (e.g. website visitors)

  • Enquiry (e.g. proposals issued)

  • Sales (e.g. number of sales)

  • Money (e.g. average sale price)

  • Onboarding and delivery (e.g. profit margin)

  • Repeat/referral (e.g. number of repeat clients)

Track these metrics at least monthly. Assign responsibility for populating the dashboard to someone other than the business owner.

Step 2: Identify problems. Empower team members to fix quick problems. Record larger problems in project management software under a "Problems List". Review and prioritize problems monthly. Focus on:

  • Enabling key staff to take leave

  • Urgent and high-impact problems

  • Problems related to lack of systems or holes in existing systems

Over time, the problems list will shrink as systems are improved.

Here is a summary:

Problems that once seemed frequent and never-ending will disappear. New problems will still emerge but they will be high-level problems that, when solved, lead to big wins.

The key is to regularly address problems in team meetings to ensure accountability. Improving systems is gradual.

Step 3: Begin optimization. This step focuses on improving areas of the business. The business should have a solid foundation of systems before major changes. The goal is to gain consistency and focus on the right metrics. Systems often start basic but improve over time.

Listen to your business to determine what needs optimization. Identify problems, develop solutions, implement solutions, review results, and improve or replace as needed. This cycle helps find effective solutions. For example, to improve cash flow, try automated payment reminders. If ineffective, require upfront payment from new clients and transition existing clients. Monitor the new system and improve as needed.

Hiring consultants accelerates optimization. The business has systems and metrics to evaluate changes. The consultant advises solutions based on problems, the business implements solutions, and reviews results. Building systems makes a business saleable, opening new opportunities.

Case study: The owner of diggiddydoggydaycare spent 2 years systematizing her business to prepare to sell it. She started with the Critical Client Flow and reduced her hours in the business. Her confidence in getting a good sale price increased due to systemization.

Here is a summary:

  • Jeanette ran a successful doggy daycare business. She optimized its systems and processes to increase efficiency and profitability. This made the business very attractive to corporate buyers. Jeanette was able to sell the business at a high price. She is now traveling and thinking of new business opportunities.

  • The key steps to optimize a business are:

  • Create a dashboard to measure key performance indicators.

  • Identify problems and inefficiencies.

  • Make improvements and optimize systems and processes.

  • The time to optimize a business is now. The costs of not optimizing include lost profits, inefficiencies, and missed opportunities. Even small improvements of 10% in key areas like marketing, sales, and customer retention can increase profits by nearly 80%.

  • Be prepared for new opportunities. The example is given of suddenly being asked to speak at a TEDx event, even though there was no apparent path leading to that opportunity. The key is to build your skills and share your expertise, as you never know what may come of it down the line.

  • In summary, optimizing systems and being prepared to act on new opportunities are key to business success. The time to act is now.

    Here is a summary:

  • Becoming a TEDx speaker takes a lot more work and commitment than just delivering an 18-minute talk.

  • All TEDx talks must be non-commercial. Speakers have to cover their own expenses and do not get paid. It requires hundreds of hours of preparation.

  • Whether or not it makes sense to pursue the opportunity depends on the individual and their circumstances. Opportunities arise all the time, but people often miss them due to lack of time, money, or vision.

  • Getting selected as a TEDx speaker is largely outside of one's control. The author's opportunity came about unexpectedly. But being ready to take advantage of the opportunity when it arose was within the author's power.

  • Being ready to capitalize on opportunities as they arise leads to the biggest wins. Opportunities are times or circumstances that make it possible to do something. Whether a TEDx talk, a book launch, or selling a stadium, you must be ready.

  • The author wishes the reader to have space in their life to take advantage of non-linear opportunities. If you do good work, build connections, and solve client problems, opportunities will come. Often unexpectedly.

  • If giving his TEDx talk again, the author would discuss how creating systems is difficult and requires discipline. It is simple but not easy.

  • Now is the time for the reader to get started, not just for themselves but for their team, family, and community. Sticking to the path will lead to unimaginable results.

  • An epilogue discusses how the author's digital agency manager resigned unexpectedly. The only viable options were to replace her, take the reins again, or sell the business. The author chose to sell, demonstrating the power of building a systematic business. The new owner cited the comprehensive systems as giving him confidence in the acquisition.

  • The four stages of business systemization are survival, stationary, scalable, and saleable. SYSTEMology took the author's agency through the full life cycle. The author will now apply the same steps to his current business.

  • Anything is possible in the future. The author looks forward to hearing the reader's story.

    Here is a summary of the web video process:

  • Client onboarding: The client signs on, pays a deposit and the project kicks off.

  • Discovery: A discovery call is held to determine the best approach (script vs interview). Equipment needs are assessed and a shoot date is set. Notes and equipment needs are logged in the project management system.

  • Pre-production: Preparation advice is sent to the client. Concepts or scripts are developed. Storyboards or shot lists are created if needed. Equipment is checked and purchased if required.

  • Production: Equipment is set up and camera settings are checked. Presenters are prepped and miked. Shots and audio are captured. Checklists are followed to ensure quality. Footage is backed up.

  • Post-production: Footage is organised and the best shots are edited together into a narrative. Music, stock footage and effects are added. Colour correction and audio mixing are completed. A checklist ensures quality.

  • Delivery: The final video is exported, encoded and uploaded. It is shared with the project manager for review and any changes are made. The final video is delivered to the client.

This is a high-level view of how the many steps and aspects of creating a professional web video come together in a system. By following checklists, using project management tools and having clear processes, quality and efficiency can be achieved. Let me know if you would like me to explain any part of this summary in more detail.

Here is a summary:

The client signs off on the final video or pays for extra changes.

Step #7: After the video is complete

•Clean up video hosting service and upload finished video to YouTube channel.

•Note final footage location in project management task.

Glossary

Critical Client Flow (CCF): Identifies central systems to deliver product/service. SYSTEMology template: SYSTEMology.com/resources.

Departments, Responsibilities & Team Chart (DRTC): Assigns roles and responsibilities; identifies key workers for system development. SYSTEMology template: SYSTEMology.com/resources.

Department head: Oversees department.

Knowledgeable worker: Completes tasks to a high standard; is recorded completing tasks to prepare for documentation.

Leader: Often the business owner. Sets strategic direction. Quick mover, thinker, problem-solver.

Manager: Runs operations. Detail-oriented; sees projects through to completion. Complements the leader.

Systems champion: Takes ownership of systemising the business. High attention to detail; loves systems; helps move SYSTEMology process forward.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to:

Carrolyn Jenyns, wife and inspiration

Sons Nathaniel and Jordan

Allan Dib, Brad Sugars, Gino Wickman, Melissa Crowhurst, Michael & Luz Delia Gerber, Mike Rhodes, Nik Thakorlal, Pete Williams, Simon Bowen

Business Systems Summit speakers and guests

SYSTEMology team: Bill Doerr, Emma Goff, Eric Putnam, Kristian Basilio

SYSTEMologists and partners

Clients, including those who shared stories

Readers - for buying the book and taking the "red pill"

About the Author

David Jenyns:

  • Entrepreneur since his early 20s; sold Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • Founded digital agency Melbourne SEO Services; systemised and hired CEO in 2016
  • Systems devotee; founded SYSTEMology
  • Mission: Free business owners from daily operations
  • Supports SYSTEMologists; delivers workshops; keynote addresses; hosts podcast Business Processes Simplified

Connect at SYSTEMology.com

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