We all dream of a workflow analysis that provides guaranteed results.
It is natural for workflow to become unbalanced as your company and your team grows and changes. Even worse are the bottlenecks that begin to occur with work in progress. Often the amount of work becomes uneven, as well as the matching of talents to job responsibility. To maintain maximum effectiveness, you must periodically evaluate the work levels and talents of your team and reassign responsibilities accordingly or conduct a stop restart to firm out where the traffic jams occurred in the first place. This allows flow within your system while allowing team to grow into new, challenging and fulfilling positions. Unfortunately we rarely intentionally look at this until we are faced with less than ideal (crisis) times like when we have to add or significantly increase a new service area, are considering adding new employees, lost employees or needing to let an employee go.
Here are four STRONG suggestions to eliminating bottlenecks. And below we explain HOW they do so.
1. Weekly Key Support Meetings: We recommend one hour of dedicated, consistent weekly time with the key person on your team that supports your world. This time is typically at the start or end of each week and allows each of you to go through your entire calendar, personal and professional, for the next 30 days, and look for any holes, double commitments, over commitments, potential roadblocks for work in progress and proactively looking at cash flow, vacations (or making certain a vacation is on the horizon) etc. This is a HUGE opportunity for a “board of directors” meeting to take a look at the current state of the union before a crisis occurs or a ball is dropped.
2. Weekly Growth Time: At a minimum carve out 90 minutes a week, consistently every week, to work on projects such as software training, systems training and/or book clubs for ideas you want to implement in the business to support future GROWTH. It’s time for all that “stuff” that you never can get to. Without intentional, proactive growth time everyday feels like ground hog day and it’s amazing how another year goes by and your business looks exactly like it did last year (if not worse)…and every year you say ”If only we could get to X, then Y would really change.”
3. Monthly Coffee Clutch: Where the hidden gems lie buried. This is agenda free, non-business time with your key team member(s) spent over breakfast, lunch and/or afternoon coffee. This time is purely to connect on a personal level. No files or work are “brought to the table.” This is all about building relationship, establishing trust and an opportunity for each of you to speak your truth and share your greatest visions. That’s it. We’re not going to go into what you can expect here but if you can come to the table being fully present, actively listening and with enjoyment for the downtime together, email us after four consistent weekly meetings and we will be happy to offer a 50 minute NO CHARGE coaching session with you.
4. Quarterly Spring Cleaning: The term “spring” means a rebirth. And that is exactly what this time will provide. Block out a ½ day each quarter for the entire firm (yes, attorneys too) to literally clean out each office, lunch room, storage room or whatever other “room” you are using as a closet. One key team member MUST be assigned to work WITH the attorney on their office (i.e., don’t leave them alone). We suggest the entire team tackle the common room areas together.
How do these 4 suggestions Eliminate Bottlenecks?
Once you make the conscious choice for uninterrupted communication, connection and collaboration you start to create a habit of proactively looking at the business and relationships. You become consciously aware of how you show up in the part you play in your role. When you stop long enough to create silence and space and drop all the agendas and “gottas” that is when possibility and opportunity begin to root, creating staying power. You begin to see where the bottlenecks are and how to eliminate them in the future in a proactive, powerful way versus a knee-jerk reaction to a crisis.
What bottlenecks are you tolerating?
Champions of your continued success,
Molly and Laney