I’m a big fan of systems.
Systems make things easy; safer too.
Pilots have systems; surgeons have systems; successful entrepreneurs and business professionals have systems.
Systems routinize. They reduce mind clutter.
You have a system for brushing your teeth. (Thank god, you don’t need to re-think that every single day.) You likely have a system for making your coffee; and onboarding clients; and scheduling appointments; and keeping track of your finances.
When you systematize things, you free yourself up. You can turn your attention elsewhere.
But you can’t just set them and forget them.
An airplane traveling between New York and London can be off course 90% of the time and still get to Heathrow, so long as the autopilot is making its moment to moment corrections. But if the autopilot goes awry, and the captain is asleep at the switch, the plane may end up in Cape Town.
A solo sailor in the around the world British Open Challenge ran his expensive, high performance racer onto an island in the middle of the night because of error in the auto pilot.
A coach of mine once said there are no people failures, only systems failures. If something in your business or your life isn’t working well, you need a better system.
But I think we fail when we don’t check our systems to be sure they’re serving us well.
I recently checked the system I had put in place for one of my retirement accounts. Because I hadn’t reviewed it regularly, I belatedly discovered that I “enjoyed” a 15% return. But missed out on the 110% gain that I might have seen, had I been watching.
That wasn’t a systems failure. That was my failure.
Good systems are essential for business (and life) success. And like everything in our planning practices, they need to be watched and reviewed.
You can set them and forget them; but you may crash and burn.