Are Processes Holding Your Capacity Captive? When’s the last time you came across the proverbial well-oiled machine?
Well, you might not have even known it was there! Yup, and that’s the point. Processes blending seamlessly into the structure they serve and support is beautiful.
It’s really only when we run into a process that’s out of date or out of touch that we recognize there’s something that’s wrong with the picture. In today’s episode, we want to talk about the positive side of processes, the side that has the potential to catapult your business forward.
If information and communication are the central nervous system of your organization, then process and procedure are its spines, giving it structure and stability.
We create and implement processes in our businesses that give form and structure, but also extend the capacity of our team! At the same time, we scrutinize these processes relentlessly as soon as they stop delivering the results we want! Excellence.
Here’s the deal: everything changes.
- your client’s needs change,
- products and service may change,
- even your team members can change, etc.
So, while your processes may give form and structure to your organization, they must remain flexible.
Let’s take a look at how healthy processes could help your business scale to success!
Enjoy today’s episode!
Chris LoCurto 0:00
how your business processes might be holding your capacity captive, that is coming up next.
Chris LoCurto 0:17
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto's show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks, I hope you're having a fabulous day, wherever you are. Maybe you've heard it said before, but it bears repeating. Repetition breeds confidence, repetition, practice, and process all breed a kind of familiarity and self confidence. And this is both a superpower as well as an Achilles heel. And we're going to kind of dig into that. So here's what I mean. Your business processes, once learned and familiar, can either catapult your business to success, or make it stagnant and eventually suffocated to death. I think there's plenty of people out there that understand both sides of that, but probably a lot of folks that have a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners that kind of understand the second part of that of being stagnant not understanding why. So we're gonna dig into a bunch of that, but we're gonna do this in two different parts. And the first part of this episode, we're talking about how healthy business processes can set you and your team up for success.
In the second part, we'll take a look at how unhealthy processes can create rigidity in flexibility and morbidity that can hold your business back, these limiting factors are causing your business to crawl instead of run, I know that there's a lot of folks out there that are going exactly, I've experienced that. And unfortunately, sometimes when you experience some of that you miss out on how important it is to have the right processes in place. So just because a process may be holding something back doesn't mean that all processes need to be thrown out the window, we're gonna get to all of that. This is especially true in serving your clients and creating great customer experiences. So why don't we come back what healthy processes look like, and what they'll add to your team? Hey, folks, a couple of years ago, I was visiting with a client. And the CEO said to me, Chris, we're not going to hit our goal. I asked him what he meant. And he said, We're gonna miss our three year revenue goal coming out of strap plan by a few months, I didn't realize it at first, that he was having a little fun with me by saying they were about to triple their company in less than three years. How freaking awesome is that? Folks, these are the kinds of results that businesses get by coming through our four day strat plan event. On average, we find $2.1 million worth of revenue in the next 12 months that the company was not planning on. And this event is for all sized businesses. If you're small, medium or large, it works for every single business, because it's not industry specific. It's about gaining all the information about all the things inside of your business that are holding you back from success, and then giving you a plan and a process on how to walk that out and be successful in your business. By discovering the things that are holding you back. It helps you get to all of those goals that you've been planning on for a long time. So if you're ready to get the perspective, you need to solve what's holding you and your business back. So you can grow faster than you need strap plan to learn more go to chrislocurto..com/strap plan that's Crystal curto.com/strapping.
Chris LoCurto 4:01
Alright, the power of process why are we talking about processes and systems anyways? Well, as author and habit expert, James clear puts it you don't rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems, folks, I'm telling you, that is absolute truth. That is something that we see all the time in decades of leading businesses to being successful. One of the things that we discover all the time, is how the lack of quality systems causes businesses to fall now as a business leader or owner, here's the underlying truth that you've got to understand if information and communication are the lifeblood or nervous system of your organization. Then process and procedure are its spine, giving it structure, giving it stability, allowing blood flow All of those things have to be in place, they just need to be correct, they need to be good, they need to be operating the way that they're supposed to. So, processes touch all aspects of business. So especially where there's a need for setting goals, you got to have processes right now, for us setting a goal looking out and saying, in 90 days, I want to accomplish this thing or this stuff, right? Just saying it is not a goal, it's a dream. Right? If you're gonna put something to it, we call it strategy from our aspect, those steps of getting to that goal, if you're going to be successful in that goal, you've got to create a good process that gets you to that goal. Also, it helps out with expectations, both internally and externally as well. So if you think about it, if I'm looking at your business, and wondering if you can do something successfully for me, if I should come spend money with you, if I don't see that you have good processes in place, get structure in place, if I see things falling apart, probably not going to come and spend money with you, I can't tell you how many times we've had vendors that we go to, you know, sign a contract with them on something and we walk through their process, and we see things falling through the cracks, or they do a good job selling us. And we get to our very first process with them, or we're gonna do a bunch of different processes. And immediately, we have a problem, right, we can see that they're not covering things that is important. If you want my money, you have to show me that you have the ability to produce the things that you're promising me that you can produce. Another way that it touches all aspects of business is on down to the accountability of the repeatability the growth of the business.
Chris LoCurto 6:45
Listen, a big piece, we call it the accountability gap, a big piece of why so many businesses struggle is because they don't have the pieces in place that is helping somebody get from the task, to the result. A lot of times that piece that's missing is a quality process that gets in there. Now, as we go through this, here's what I want you to know, I am fully against processing the living daylights out of stuff so that a monkey can do it. If your people do not have to think, to do the processes, then something's gotta go, right. Because we don't want to process something and then pay people money to do something that a monkey could do, right? We want people to be able to use their brain power to be able to make decisions to own stuff, right to take responsibility for stuff. If you have to process it to a crazy extent, then you either don't have the right people, or you're looking at your product or service in the wrong way. So in context of processes touching all aspects of the business, let me give you a few examples from our point main culture. Now number one, we address process strategically, with organizations, I kind of just shared this with you a little bit before. But as we lead owners, as we lead leaders, through planning events, through strat plan, we come back to their processes time and time again, two big pieces that come out of almost every single strap plan is processes that are either not done right, they don't have the right ones. They're not optimized, whatever it is. But it's there's always, always always an element of processes that are holding companies back, I think I've seen one time that a company was like 95% there because they were so process driven. But what we did find is that there were things that needed to be optimized. And there still were a couple of things missing in that equation as well, right? Almost every single company that comes through strat plan is struggling in the area of processes, even when they have some things that are doing working well. They've got some things that are doing good. What we will find is, is that they're not optimized and not up to date, they may not be documented, people may be doing them different ways. There's ones that we haven't gotten to things we're not even thinking about that need to be processed all kinds of information.
So also, processes play a part in assessing failure of any kind. Now, we have a process to resolve the issue and make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes time and time again. Now what do we do we have? You've probably heard me talk about it. We have a five step process when a problem happens. We don't throw people under the bus. We don't play the blame game. We ask the question, what happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? How do we fix it? How do we make sure it never happens? Again, that five step process will solve like 95% of problems. Now there's going to be some things that are more complex that we have to get different perspective on or more perspective or, but when you follow those five steps, you're solving almost all problems The great thing about it is, you're hopefully also putting in a process to make sure that doesn't happen again, or at least not happen the same way. Now you you can't process out the unknown. So sometimes you will fix something, put a process in place to make sure it never happens again, and then it happens in a different way. The problem is, is when things keep happening over and over and over again, and we keep slapping band aids on him. And it doesn't ever really solve it, we see that again, a lot in strat plan. We have great firefighters and most businesses. Unfortunately, we learn how to become great firefighters, we could put out fires. And a lot of times we don't stop and recognize that we need a proven process or a great process to help us make sure we don't get to the fire in the first place. Right? Why do the fires keep happening? Right. So if we can solve those, that is great number three processes involved when training our teams to create workflows. So using programs like Asana, we are big Asana fans, I really wish they were a sponsor of the show because we promote Asana like crazy because it does a great job. We love it. We use it like crazy all the time. And using things like Asana will do it to cultivate habits like closing out your day, updating the progress on tasks, so leaders can speak into their progress, right? These are things that we teach in killing the leadership Crazy Cycle, it's important to have these processes in place. While if you utilize the right tools, then that's easy. You know, my team lives in Asana, they are in it all the time. A lot of our clients are in Asana all the time, the way that we lead a lot of our clients is through Asana, on helping them to train teams, or do strap plans or the big goals that they're focusing on whatever it is.
So it is a great place for you to put your projects to put your meetings, you know, for us, our leadership team, meeting our staff meetings, our marketing, team meetings, our live event meetings, all those things exist there. And the the people inside of that meeting have access to those projects, they dumped the things in that we need to talk about. It's great for communication. It's great for setting up processes. But it's also a phenomenal to do list. Now listen, I don't live in Asana. Why because I'm usually in events, i The one thing I try and teach a lot of you business owners and leaders is to get out of the task side of what you're doing. Let's kill the leadership Crazy Cycle, lead people. So for me, my time is spent between leading people doing events, doing next level life strap plans. Next Level Mastermind retreats, next level leadership live event, all the show all this stuff that I'm doing, I don't have a ton of tasks on my plate. However, I still have things I've got to get done, I still have a to do list. So for me, while people aren't assigning me tasks and throwing things my way, I'm still dumping my to do list in there. my to do list for appointment, my To Do lists for other companies, my to do list for the rich, my to do list on personal things that I need to get done. And being able to prioritize all that. So we do these things because it gives you a great and by the way, let me make sure you understand the sauna is way bigger than a to do list. We do complete full strap plans, projects, everything in there. I'm just saying even in the smallest aspect of it will help you in your day to day now. I get it all the time when folks come to us. And they say, you know, I thought you had a much bigger team, looking at what you're doing. Because we've we create processes, we put things in place, we create structure in our business, that allow our team members to get a ton done.
Chris LoCurto 13:50
A lot of times in strat plan, what we find is people are paying for a lot of team tonight get a whole lot done when you don't have good processes. And there's a whole bunch of other stuff. Listen, this is just one aspect of it. There's a whole lot of other things that we will find. But a lot of times companies are paying for twice the amount of people, right people like I thought you're like 50 people No, we're like a dozen or more we got an order still hiring more trying to get more people in. But the thing is, is the way that we have structured the business and the way that we do our processes and the way that we do our accountability in the way that we lead people to success and the way that we put the right tools and all the things that we teach you guys. Every team member is highly productive, highly productive, not running themselves into the ground, not stressed to the max not ruining their life with their family. They don't work, you know, 24 hours a day. They're just incredibly productive. Communication is great. We get a whole ton of stuff done. And when things don't go well, we fix it, we solve the problem. And a big piece of this is making sure that we have great processes in place. So So what you're hearing me say is that having the right processes, having the power of process is something that absolutely extends to our team's capacity. Now, when we come back, why process is so powerful, but often abused and misunderstood?
Joel Fortner 15:21
Hey, leaders, this is Joel Fortner VP of leadership development at Crystal Kardos. Company. I have some questions for you. Do you as a leader feel like you are caught up in a Crazy Cycle of stress and tasks that never ends week to week? Do you ever have to deal with tough conversations with team members? And you sit at home the next day the night before? Worried about how's it gonna go? What am I going to say? What are they going to say? Can I think fast enough on my feet? Is it going to be a total failure? Are you experiencing culture problems or that stuff that just breaks down trust and unity on your team? Well, if you're if you can relate to any of this, this is a pretty typical leadership story and situation. Here's the thing though, it doesn't have to be that way. And we can help you solve these things, we can help you become the leader that solves these problems and leads 13 to greater success. I want to introduce you to the key leaders program. This is an ongoing leadership development program. That gives you the lesson track coaching and accountability. You need to become the leader you can become to actually implement what you're actually learning in this program. Things Fall Apart without great leadership and intentionality. If you want to solve the problems that are holding you back from being a great leader, we can help you with this program get in touch Joe, chrislocurto.com.
Chris LoCurto 16:47
So we have implemented solid and proven procedures, checklists, and workflow that allow us to maximize our potential, and I will tell you what I started, you know, decades ago, I realized very quickly, I'm not a very high detail person, I'm high enough to cover my butt. Right i i am in the details enough to keep myself from failing. But I learned very quickly that if I did not put things in place, if I didn't force myself to be enough detailed, to make sure that mistakes don't happen and to cover things, then it was always going to come back and be a failure for me if I didn't lead people to do so. So from the very beginning, I've been a checklist person. I'm the kind of person who always has I have a little, you know, used to be back in the day, it would be the big yellow pad. And now I've got a small blue lined pad that that is with me my pen, I walk around, you know, I make decisions. I'm writing things down. One of the team members noticed during strapline the other day that I'm always writing specific things down on that sheet, because I'm going to come back to it. And I'm going to bring it up at something important. But while we're having discussions, I can't rely on myself to remember this after four days of intense discussion, right? It's something that helps me to remember things that I've got to cover. So I started off with little lying Pat, and realized very quickly that I needed to do something else. So I remember in the early days before Excel existed, I was like lotus, I believe it was if I'm correct on that I can't even remember. But I realized I could start making these checklists and cover my butt. If I put these processes in place, then I could knock things out and get them done consistently, strategically, you know, really well, well, I carried that on over the decades of leading my team to do the same thing. So when we do that when we're using these processes, and I'm not saying go back to and use Lotus folks that's out of sight. But when you have great processes in place, and you also scrutinize the processes, when they stopped delivering the results, then you're becoming really successful. You're allowing your team to be successful, you're helping your team members to be successful. And what I'm what do I mean by scrutinizing? Well, here's the deal. Things change. clients needs change, team members change. There's all kinds of things that are going to change as you go along. So what do you need to do? You need to review and optimize right scrutinize the daylights out of your processes. And I'm not saying do this every couple of weeks. We usually want to look at this once a year if we've got great processes in place, but we want to go back and review are these working? If it's not working, what needs to be optimized? What needs to change? Is this redundant? Is it repetitive? Is it no longer needed? Are we following a process that isn't important anymore? Right? Processes give us form and structure to our organization. But it's got to remain flexible. What if something changes and you keep cramming down the same process and you've never reviewed it? You've never optimized it. So now you have somebody who's sticking to a process. That sucks. That's not helpful. That's not making you successful.
So a big part of this is making sure that you actually review and optimize these processes. So think about it like going to the chiropractor, right? Your spine gives you body form, structure stability. But sometimes it's got to be adjusted in sometimes frequently, in order to stay flexible and have good blood flow. Well, if your processes are you don't touch them, you don't do anything about them. And five years later, you keep doing the same process and wondering why you're losing money, now you're not making the same money that you were people are not as productive as they used to be, or whatever it is, it could very well be, because you've continued to do the same process and not optimize it. So your processes must be assessed and adjusted frequently. Now, again, I'm not saying you need to do this, every couple of weeks, usually, depending upon the process, once a year is a good timeframe. And if you're doing it well, you probably have a lot of processes that you have to review and optimize. But if times are changing, then schedule time to review and optimize, just take a look. You might look at the process and go, nothing has changed. I can tell you when we hit COVID, that's one of the first things we did. First thing we did with our clients is we said no fear, we're not going to have fear, we're not going to go into this fearful, we're going to trust God, and we're going to bust it. But we're gonna take a hard look around what needs to adjust what needs to change. And many of our clients and us as well made some adjustments very quickly, we were flexible. We made moves. And we did things to make sure that our businesses kept operating that we kept meeting our client's needs. And so some processes had to change in that right, some things had to be adjusted. And then later on, some of those got adjusted back, some of them didn't, it just kind of depend on if it changed the direction we were going with our business. So if you want to achieve excellence, then make sure you're perfecting your processes, right. Make sure they're flexible. Make sure that they are in place that you have all the ones that you need. Make sure that you're reviewing and optimizing the ones that are already in place. If there's new needed processes, make sure that you're discovering what those are putting those together, and try and make it as perfect as possible. Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence. Thank you Vince Lombardi. That's our goal, right? Be excellent. Are you going to be perfect? No, of course, you're not going to be perfect. It's going to be impossible for you to be perfect. There's only been one perfect human being. And it sure wasn't us, right. But if you're chasing perfection, as Vince Lombardi says, then you can definitely catch excellence. If you do those things, your team can be excellent. If your team is excellent and your business is excellent, then people are going to want to give you their money. They're going to want to spend their money with you to get your product or your service. So if you as a leader will assess and adjust your processes whenever you see the warning signs I mentioned, then your team will thrive and your customers will be served with excellence. Spend time perfecting your process. It'll make a huge difference in your business. Excellence is the goal. Excellence is attainable. Excellence increases potential. Well folks hopefully this has helped you today we will come back with a part two on this. Discussing the struggles that we see are the things that are really holding us captive when we don't do things and processes with excellence. So as always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.