The fun stuff: work flows, processes, compliance and due diligence
If you want a system to be scalable, you’d better make sure that system is ordered. This is what I do. And, thankfully, this is what I thoroughly enjoy. To me it is a voyage of discovery that helps me to de-clutter things, compartmentalise them or even break them up into their essential bits and pieces to better understand the main components. It helps that I’m curious by nature and a bit OCD, and I like to control things (just ask Götz).
To order a system I follow my own process which starts with first understanding all the value adding domains.
Once I have isolated all the contributing parts I start focusing on the workflows and processes that will enable all the separate functions to become one cohesive, thriving organism. Everyone needs to know what their contribution is and why their involvement is important for the bigger picture (‘roles and responsibilities’). As in the human body, where the heart pumps the blood through the veins, the liver takes care of detoxification and the lungs oxygenate the blood, each individual in an organisation needs to fully understand his or her role. After all, the word corporate is derived from corpus, which means ‘body’ in Latin.
I really enjoy building bridges with structures and organograms, linking them to objectives — for each role, function and department — and then making sure they’re supported with effective communication and sound guiding principles. This requires plenty of administrative and organisational skills, which is great if, like me, that gets your engine started.
This is not only about the higher management functions though — those are merely the roof on top. That ‘roof’ needs to rest firmly on various pillars like sales & marketing, content creation, research & development, finance & accounting, HR & training, general office management, intercompany liaison, investor relations, business development etc.
There are also aspects of the role I don’t like. I often have to nag people to follow processes, when they don’t always understand the importance of doing so. Fortunately I don’t mind, since I’ve always preferred to be respected rather than liked.
Building an ordered system and implementing sound processes are also necessary to attract top investors like Bill Gates. If investors like what they see, they will send in their troops to conduct a due diligence — basically a comprehensive appraisal of the business to establish its assets and liabilities and evaluate its commercial potential. A necessary pain in the arse for your typical start-up team that just want to get going with their core business.
But we don’t just do it because investors require it — order and structure are in our own best interests, too. It is crucial to making a business commercially viable and a focus that has to be engrained in all of us.
Something else to keep in mind when developing structures and processes is that we now live in a shared economy, a socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human, physical and intellectual resources, as opposed to legacy businesses that focus on the accumulation of assets. Nowadays worth is not measured by how many cars you have or how many people report to you — on the contrary, the leaner your operation the better. So burn the excess baggage!
It’s vital to stay focused on the core value proposition of the business. Too many companies get bogged down in activities which should have been delegated to external experts, diluting their value proposition in the process. When they realise this, it’s usually too late. By then the ship is often too big to turn around, just like the Titanic, destined to be sunk by a lurking iceberg.
That is why at Eventerprise we believe in a lean organisation with a flat hierarchy. As part of the platform revolution, we prefer to utilise plug & play partnerships, i.e. sharing and cooperating with experts in their respective fields, rather than the old-school approach of building unwieldy kingdoms ourselves.
Successful modern entrepreneurship is all about agility. The Eventerprise team remains crystal clear about its value proposition, and dedicated to sound processes, structures and the need to avoid unnecessary complexity.
Originally published at www.eventerprise.com on August 30, 2016.