Byron's Babbles

Work Like a MacBook

IMG_3508I catch myself saying, “We need to work more like a MacBook” all the time. I am such a believer in the streamlined and simple approach that Steve Jobs gave the world when designing Apple™ products. It is the same surface level simplicity with back-end oomph (OS) that I want for the schools that I lead. To me a streamlined process means fewer errors and delays. I touched on this some in my 2012 post Lead “Like a MacBook Pro.” Click here to read that post. In that post, the comment is made, “With a Mac what used to take three or four steps with a pc will only take a single step with the Mac!” That’s really how I believe everything should run in an organization.

So, why would we not want the organizations we lead to have all the features I believe Apple™ products bring to the table? Here are a few of the top ones:

  • Easy/automatic integration between devices (iPhone, iPad, MacBook)
  • Streamlined, single step processes
  • Home/individual content creation is excellent (iMovie and Garage Band specifically)
  • Joyful buying experience and after sales care
  • Very high build quality, premium materials and components, and generally great customer service when an error does occur

Think about it. If we achieved these things in the organizations we lead, there could not help but be great things happening.

It gives me great angst when there are times when the process involves one person doing something or collecting information only to pass that information to someone else to enter somewhere else – Why do we do this to ourselves? Many work processes are developed on an ad hoc basis out of necessity and become the standard model for getting work done. In many cases, there is already collective wisdom within your organization on how to improve the work flow, but it is extremely difficult for any one person to make a change in a work process without the opinions and involvement of other employees and leaders. Great leaders request input about streamlining efforts from anyone in the work-flow chain. Seek their opinions about how to improve efficiency.

One thing that I try to pay close attention to is how employees improve their own part of the process. Many times people will naturally streamline their own portions of a work flow, simply to defeat tedium. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes this streamline for an individual causes extra processes somewhere else. Rule of thumb: Aim to make the work flow efficient, but not your people. This will in turn create efficiency for the organization and ultimately all of those you lead and not just a select few. Implementing streamlined work flow improvements, starting with the obvious low-hanging fruit that is a usual part of any work flow process is a great place to start.

Take a look at the processes, reporting protocols, and all the work your people and organizations do and see if there are ways you can streamline like a MacBook to a single step instead of two or three.

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