A woman drawing on a transparent board in a meeting room


No one cares what you do.

I know this seems a bit harsh but it is a reality. There are many other companies that do what you do and can fulfill the need your company currently fills.

But can they do it HOW you do it?

It is not the “What” that your customers care about, it is the “How you do what you do” that makes you special. So, why is it that so few companies have documented their “How”?

It’s All In The “How”

There are a few of you right now who are saying, “Well that isn’t a problem at our company. We have very detailed standard operating processes.”

Then there are a few others that are thinking, “So what? My team generally understands our approach.”

We find that most of the businesses we work with are in one of these two camps:

  1. Overly-detailed processes documented
  2. Nothing at all documented

Or worse, they have both.

We find that the right approach is in the middle: Document the 20% that gets you 80% of the results.

That 20% would be the high-level steps for your handful of core processes. Not the 100 steps for each of your 20 “core” processes. This high-level approach is what ends up dialing in your secret sauce. This is the “How you do what you do.”

Keep It Simple

Taking this simplified approach is how you get the most return on your buck. If you are too detailed when documenting your processes, they will be difficult or onerous to follow and if they aren’t documented, they are impossible to follow.

Once you get your core processes down, then you need to start the hard part and get them followed-by-all. But understand that it is impossible to take this step if you haven’t taken the time and documented your secret sauce. So, get your handful of core processes down and start truly taking advantage of your How.

Written by Jim Coyle on November 14, 2019

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