If you want a team full of productive, independent humans…

 

Give them ownership of their processes.

 

Have your team write out their processes.  Have them create videos when necessary to walk through the more visual steps.  

 

And have them continuously update the process based on their experience performing the tasks and completing the projects associated with their roles.

 

It’s that simple.  It actually works.

 

The job of creating processes  should not be up to you alone. It should not be up to your assistant alone.  It shouldn’t even be up to your operations manager alone. The people performing the processes, should write out the processes and update the processes.  They are the ones experiencing the process daily!

If you have A-players on board, this becomes beneficial and it works immediately.

 

If one or two team members (usually the CEO and a key implementor) own all of the processes, business growth is halted because these team members have to handle every bottleneck.

 

You benefit from giving team members ownership of their processes because there are more people who can handle bottlenecks and the company is now self-optimizing from the bottom up, as well as from the top down.

 

A top down only approach limits the growth of a business and its team members.

Delegation comes down to processes, I talk about this in a previous post, Get the task you hate the most off your plate. For good.  The next level of delegation is to have your team members optimizing the tasks (processes) that they own.

Over time process ownership will become the culture.

 

When I was growing my first company, a real estate development firm, my time was becoming scarce and I was stretched thin.


My business partners and I brought on a college student to handle analyzing properties we wanted to purchase, negotiating with realtors, and closing the deals.  This was no small role, nor was it a role lacking in importance. It was one of the biggest needle movers for us.

 

Now, disclaimer, this guy was an A-player.  He learned quickly and he was an action taker.  What empowered him to be successful in taking a massive business function off my plate and succeed was having autonomy to improve on the process, with occasional audits from me.

 

This literally saved me 30 hours per week.  This time was reinvested to add real estate acquisition channels, work on big-picture strategy, and handle large deals.

 

This type of leadership is valuable for two reasons.

 

First, your team gets into the habit of creating processes.  Yes, your team can and will literally systemize the aspect of your business that they own for you.  

 

Second, but more important, your team will update and adjust existing processes that are already in place.  They will be self-optimizing their roles and the processes that they own.

 

This is how you train your team members to embody that “get sh*t done” or “figure it out” skill that business owners often have, but struggle to build into the culture of their teams.

 

You likely want to grow your team as your business grows, right?  And you will be promoting existing team members as you grow. Then you’ll fill their previous roles with new team members.

 

And you don’t want a flood of 10 thousand questions and a temporary drop in productivity every time you bring on a new team member.

 

The solution? 

Your existing team member already systemized his/her role!

 

Your new team member can step in and be effective immediately with minimal hands-on training.

 

The processes for this role are written out and have been continuously kept up to date by your existing team member. 


Your existing team member can now enjoy and focus on his/her new role instead of babysitting the new team member.

 

So how do you start?

 

You can build this mindset into your team member by having weekly calls where you ask for feedback on the process this team member is handling.  The team member and you can make adjustments to the process based on this feedback.

Over time, you can reduce your involvement here as well as the frequency with which processes are updated.  After 1 month of weekly calls, the team member can have monthly process updates in her schedule to update existing processes.  Then, once per quarter, you or your operations manager can dive in and do a process audit with this team member to brainstorm improvements.

The goal here is for the team member to become the expert in her process so that you do not need to be heavily involved and can focus on the big-picture vision of the company and driving it forward.

 

What are you waiting for?  Go build a culture of process ownership.

P.s. If you want tasks off your plate, but have no interest in applying the above, feel free to reach out to me and we can discuss if it is a good fit to work together.

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