To Move Forward, We Must Go Back to the Basics
I wonder if everyone feels the way I do about this year compared to last year. It seems like 2020 was the longest year of my life, and 2021 is flying by at light speed.
Here we are already in the 2nd quarter and activity is heating up. Companies and employees are starting to get busy again and it’s apparent that we're in a different business climate.
Have you changed the way you conduct business to respond to this particular environment?
I was considering our way of doing business last month, and a phrase came to mind that you don't hear very often - the fundamentals.
Basic Processes Gathered into Library of Tribal Knowledge
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we work hard for years and years to build successful businesses. We start with great products and services for our customers and spend much of our time actually doing the work ourselves.
As time goes on, we look for ways to build the business and take it to the next level. To do that, we have to make sure that everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, and the fundamentals get baked into the employees’ day-to-day activities. Over time, a library of “tribal knowledge” accumulates, and everyone around you knows what to do and how to do it.
As companies grow and hire lots of people, processes and procedures start to play a significant role in product and service delivery.
Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, addresses this when he discusses the McDonald’s french fries scenario. We know what McDonald’s fries will taste like, and we expect that taste to be the same at any McDonald’s anywhere in the world. Getting this repeatable result is only possible by getting down to the fundamentals and making sure that every employee and every franchise accurately executes the same process over and over again.
Why do I bring this topic up, and why is it suddenly evident that companies have to return to the fundamentals?
Fundamentals Turned Upside Down in 2020
The last year was filled with the exact opposite of fundamentals. Companies across the entire world have been disrupted to a level most of us have never experienced before. Many have had to invent new ways to provide products and services they have been delivering for years to survive.
While it’s commendable to be able to re-invent your company as you figure out how to maneuver through uncharted business territory, it’s also a good exercise to take a look at the basics that served you well up to this point.
Start by asking things like, how are we communicating with one another internally? Are we all connected and understanding things the same way? Are we offering the best services possible with geographically separate teams of people?
Take a step back and evaluate how you’re communicating with customers. What are our interactions like with customers? Do our communications bring us together and enable our work together? Is there something that they’d like to change about how we work with them?
These are all fundamentals that went into the inception of most businesses. It’s time to take a hard look once again and go back to basics – to go forward.
Make it a great month,
About Marty Kaufman
Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.
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