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***For Karl McCracken's personal (mainly triathlon) blog, please visit This blog is an alternative way for you to get access to our TeamTips series of articles. TeamTips is a short, fortnightly article that's aimed at TeamLeaders. Each edition covers a subject that's important for Team Leaders' performance - both in technical issues and man-management.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Systemise or Die (1)

Why Systemising's Important.

If you’ve ever had people directly reporting to you, sooner or later, you’ll be struck by the completely bananas things they’ll do!

Things like . . .
  • Making mistakes in the simplest of tasks
  • Getting caught making improper use of equipment.
  • Avoiding responsibility when things go wrong.
  • Forgetting who ultimately takes responsibility (you).
  • Paying lip service to making improvements.
Many managers fall into the trap of believing that they can learn better ‘people skills’ to overcome these kinds of problems. And it’s true that a little improvement in interpersonal communication can work wonders. But ultimately, without a system, you’ll spend more and more time sweating those ‘people skills’.

Because the problem is that you can never manage people. They’re just too complex and independent to be controlled by your winning personality alone.

But you CAN manage a system - especially if it’s one that’s designed robustly to deliver exactly what your customers want, AND it takes account of the people who’ll operate it. Do this, and you’ll be able to deliver consistently exceptional value and performance - to your customers, to your employees /staff / team, to your suppliers, to investors, and to yourself.

Develop systems that work, and you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free life. One in which you can can have confidence in your team’s performance, so you can get on with leading.

Seven Tips on Systemising in the next posting.


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