Systematization – Good or Evil?

Most business gurus preach “Systemization” as a way to boost productivity.

It does make sense that if you build a system to leverage your efforts and consistently refine said system your efficiency will improve.

For this to happen with regularity, the elders preach the importance of “Manualizing” everything that everyone within the system does such that there’s uniformity of action and product delivered.

Henry Ford certainly did well with these principles as did the Kroc brothers (McDonalds) and many other large corporation builders.

That’s the good side of things . . . the big picture, corporate organizational development side.

Zoom down to the level of the “Worker on the floor” and things may start getting fuzzy over time. The hands on folks who are doing these things every day learn shortcuts and/or “better/faster ways” to get the job done. They tweak the processes and teach each other these tweaks often without telling the “boss” so these tweaks fail to show up in the manual.

Now we find the “Evil” side of systematization . . . In the event the workers become disgruntled over benefits or pay (or anything), they know they can get the  boss’s attention simply by performing their jobs “by rote” . . . that is . . . They can cease doing their better/faster ways and start performing their jobs precisely as prescribed in the manual.

Suddenly, everything slows D O W N to a crawl and productivity takes a dive.

In a sense, systematization is one of those great “equalizers” . . . just as traffic signals regulate the flow of traffic such that the raging drivers who nail the accelerator at every green light and swerve from lane to lane seldom get to their destination any faster than everyone else.

It provides some pretty powerful “Checks and Balances” for the whole organization.

I believe Systematization is essential for any organization interested in achieving serious growth, but the Development of this must continue even as the company matures . . . and beyond (forever) . . . with some fluidity and adaptations based on the in-put of the workers in the trenches.

This is how great organizations thrive and survive in our environment of continuous change.

Enjoy the ride 🙂

Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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