Who Said Small Business Was Fun and Freedom
Learn from Nature – How to Win Fun and Freedom
You’re working all hours and have no friends or hobbies. Your family think you’re a distant relative.
You complain about not being able to find time to make improvements to your business.
You dash from one crisis to the next. Embarrassing and costly mistakes are being made by your staff. Cost and time lost to rework creeps higher.
You even begin to revel as an expert fire fighter or trouble-shooter.
Reacting to demands all the time, who said running your own business was fun and would give you freedom to do your own thing?
How did you find yourself in this state? Simply, you and your staff are human. Humans make mistakes and forget things, especially when they are in a hurry or lack experience.
So, What Can we Learn from Nature
Nature has produced complex, powerful, elegant, awe-inspiring, incredibly capable organisms and species that have evolved, thrived, and survived for millions of years.
Species compete for food and shelter. They also face the threat of disease. Species survive using their traits and capabilities…their genes.
Business is like a species you need to compete for business to survive, and to defend yourself against business diseases such as fire fighting or complacency.
Your business, like a species, exhibits distinct traits and capabilities derived from your skills, experience and upbringing -your business genes.
Here’s How Nature Creates Incredibly Capable Species:
1)Living things evolve in small low-risk incremental steps not in giant high-risk steps. They adapt to their environment all the time to improve their chances of survival.
What’s natures strategy?
The environment eliminates species that cant cope and only keeps those who can meet the Survival of the Fittest rules. Nature doesn’t have a vision statement, foresight, mission statement, or manifesto.
It simple uses this process of natural selection. Nature just takes one small step at a time to improve its current survival chances building on the best or fittest and removing the least fit.
2)Nature builds everything in small independent modules or building blocks genes. A gene is a length of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) a long list of instructions or template on how to put the organism together and make it work well. Genes determine the features, traits and capabilities of the organism.
3)The DNA genetic structure gives outstanding stability. The gene building blocks give the stability. The probability of any particular part of a gene being miscopied on any one copying or reproduction occasion is approximately one in a 1,000,000,000 (1 billion). It happens but it takes a considerably length of time for an error or mutation to occur. The lifetime of DNA messages of genetic code measures in millions of years.
Genetic stability preserves the useful and best characteristics that meet the environments needs. It ensures that the favourable characteristics travel from one generation to the next.
4)The DNA replication or replacement process has brilliant proof-reading and repairing capabilities to prevent errors occurring. About 5000 pieces of DNA chain degenerate per day in every human cell, and are immediately replaced by the repair control mechanisms.
DNA acts as a template or checklist for copying with exceptional low error rates.
Let Checklists become part of Your Genetic Code.
Generate these checklists benefits using natures solutions:
-Eliminate lapses or mistakes
-Create business stability across the generations of your staff.
-Train new staff faster and better.
-Capture your best practice and experience.
-Capture improvements easily.
-Demonstrate that you have not been negligent.
Here’s how to checklist your way to fun and freedom using natures solutions:
1)Start in a small way and build it up. Don’t worry about getting everything right first time. Take a simple task where things are being forgotten or missed and create a checklist.
2)Make a list of tasks to be done in the correct order on a sheet with check boxes to mark off that the tasks that are completed. Just write down what you are doing now as a starter. Incorporate instructions into your checklist.
3)Break down complex tasks into small manageable building blocks. Try to break up the task into pieces where minimum or low risk links or interfaces exist. Keep it simple.
4)Use diagrams. Remember, a picture is worth a 1000 words.
5)Use checklists to control the interface between a) staff and departments internally and b) between you and you’re customers and suppliers. Failures often occur at interfaces.
6)Involve your staff in the creation of the checklist. Note, in nature, genes collaborate to survive. Remind staff that checklists mean no loss of esteem. Airline pilots use them all the time. Checklists permit good
professional practice. Staff involvement will also lead to their commitment to use the checklist.
7)Maximise the use of experience within and outside your business. Use other peoples genes. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Find out what others do. Beg, borrow and swipe checklist ideas.
8)Request your staff check off the checklist with their initials and date. File your checklist as record of your good practice. If a customer challenges your performance, you’ve great evidence to demonstrate that you were not negligent in any way.
9)Modify the checklist to close any gap, if mistakes are still occurring. Keep doing this until you can reproduce the task without lapses. Checklists just make this so easy.
10)Make sure you use the correct checklist. Introduce a system that ensures your staff will always use the most up to date version of the checklist. If not old lapses will recur. Keep the latest master
checklists in a clearly titled folder (paper or computer).
11)Make the checklists readily available. You can use folders for different areas or processes of your business, so that your staff can readily find the right checklist for the job.
Simple checklists yield so much power. Let checklists become part of your genetic code.
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