If individual team members within your company are stressed, confused, anxious, uncertain, and flustered, then there’s a pretty good chance that your organization can be described as “chaotic.” The sooner you uproot this chaos and quell the disorder, the better your productivity and profitability will be.
How to Identify and Uproot Chaos in Business
Between changes in customer demands, massive shifts in the marketplace, uncontrollable external factors (like pandemics), and changes in leadership, chaos is never far away. And if you aren’t prepared to punch back, things can get sticky in a heartbeat. The ramifications are not to be taken lightly.
“Chaos causes organizational leaders to lose two things: confidence and strategic focus,” business consultant Kelly Byrnes writes. “Operating without confidence and focus is dangerous for any company, especially those in unpredictable markets.”
The worst part is that chaos often breeds more chaos. When a team loses confidence in their leaders, this results in even more operational inefficiencies and setbacks. As a result, teams become even more fragmented and disillusioned.
The key is to address the minor chaos as early as you can, so as to prevent it from morphing into something even more detrimental down the road. So let’s explore a few potential solutions:
- Build Out Some Basic Structure
When it comes to structure, there’s often a fear amongst business owners and managers that it’ll create too much bureaucracy, which will slow things down, inhibit creativity, and ultimately produce an unproductive and frustrated workforce. But that’s not always true. You actually need some structure in order to set your business free.
The biggest key to creating structure is to make sure you’re setting it up in a way that it’s independent of you. In other words, you’re not the only one who can operate the company. The structure should be executable whether you’re in the office or on a two-week European vacation.
- Systemize Everything
Repetitive processes must be systematized. Again, the goal here isn’t to make things rigid, but rather to free up mental processing power to focus on creative tasks and execution.
If there’s a manual task that’s performed multiple times, it needs a standard operating procedure (SOP). An SOP allows you to document every step of a process in a way that it can easily be handed off to anyone in the organization for execution. Everything from creating content for your website to manufacturing a product can/should have an SOP attached to it.
- Automate With Technology
One of the beautiful things about technology is that you can automate complex processes and streamline them in such a way that you don’t even have to think about them.
The key to automation is to find tools that can serve multiple purposes. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a great example. The right ERP solution can bring together various back office processes and boost operational efficiency and profitability. In other words, it simplifies by unifying data and departments.
- Hire Steady People
If you want to know what your business will look like in three to five years, look no further than the people on your team. Your business will ultimately become a reflection of the people you hire. If your team is full of free-spirited creatives, your business will adopt that same mentality (for better or worse). If you have ambitious, goal-oriented people, then your company will look a bit more rigid.
Fostering a business culture that’s free of unnecessary chaos requires you to hire steady people. You want people who are disciplined and calm under pressure. This is one reason it makes sense to hire military veterans – particularly those who were in leadership or combat positions. They’ve already nurtured the skills required to lead in the midst of chaos.
- Listen and Apply
It’s easy to become disillusioned with what’s happening on the ground floor of your business when you’re sitting in the C-suite. Make it a point to gather feedback from employees, listen to what they have to say, then apply proactive strategies that address their concerns and wishes.
Find Your Business Zen
The goal isn’t just to uproot chaos. While that’s a good start, your emphasis should be on replacing it with high visibility, systemization, and organization. In doing so, you can restore clarity to your company and achieve new heights.