The Magic of Well Oiled Systems & Processes

We all want to do things to the best of our ability. We find achievement, joy and purpose weaved through working in the state of flow. BUT when things start to go well, the time you have to get your head out of tasks diminishes rapidly. Often to the detriment of your dreams and the dreams of people around you.

When we embrace systemisation, we say yes to obvious things like efficiency and growth. We also say yes to things like customer satisfaction, timely quoting and onboarding, happy teams and life balance.

When I started our agency as a one-man show, I handled everything from winning work, briefing-in work, conceptualising campaigns, running campaigns, optimising them and analysing them, reporting and building a professional network based on real relationships developed on trust. Sound familiar to anyone?

I got lots of things wrong in those earlier days, but I got some things right too. I spent 2 months at the start of it all planning and developing systems and processes around how this company would grow into its systems, rather than developing the systems to fit the growth of the business.


Rigid systems can work with us, or against us
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Getting lost in endless tasks is still a reality from time to time, but without an ecosystem of processes that allow the team to collaborate and projects to flourish, we’d be in a world of pain.

All of the above may seem quite standard and expected if you’ve ever read self-development business books, but here’s something I’ve not read much about.

Systems and processes adoption.

We as humans are a unique bunch. With our own desires and ideas, we each live very differently to the next. At work, too.

Most of us could agree that the industrial era had its questionable processes – especially based on the devaluing of humans. Something they got right though, was in the adoption of processes.

If many people go the same way, there’s strength and unity. If many people go in all different directions, they’re lost.

Creating a strong set of systems and processes can be challenging, but getting a team to unite with those systems and processes is the hardest part. This takes encouragement, buy-in, belief, validation and enjoyment in order to get it to work.


Systems and processes are different from one another, just like your team
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Here are 5 ways to encourage systems and processes adoption within your team.

  1. Present the value first, not the instruction
    If it’s a new piece of technology, the how-to videos and features lists aren’t the place to start. Communicate with your team WHY the system or process is being put in place. If it doesn’t provide real value or solution to the organisation that everyone can feel, it won’t get used.
  2. Identify the early adopters – aka the cheerleaders
    It’s near impossible for everyone to be as keen on a new process as you are, but someone will always get it faster than others. This person (or these people) need to be championed to champion!
  3. Over-communicate
    It takes repeating yourself over and over again about using a new system or process. If it’s a new thing, it’s a new thing. New things aren’t habits yet, and we all need to be kept accountable to new things (assuming we believe it’s a worthwhile new thing!)
  4. Celebrate the outcomes
    If your planning is right and the new system or process works, it’s time to celebrate. This is all a part of helping others realise that it’s worth getting on board.
  5. Hold it loosely and be prepared to pivot
    A system or process might fit now, but as the organisation evolves, so too will the needs of your team and customers. Let others know that if they find a better way of doing things, to let you know. Holding it loosely will empower others to not only use the systems, but to actively look out for new ways to utilise them or find new and better ones.


It may seem counterproductive to spend time on things that don’t check items off your to-do list, but without ample systems and processes, you may not enjoy the ride.

Bring everyone together, enjoy collaborative work, and reserve your headspace for people and creativity – not to-dos and what-ifs!