The Streamlined Business Blog

The Streamlined Business Blog is all about getting—and keeping—Operations Under Control by implementing good business systems, processes, and standard operating procedures. Our staff experts blog regularly on a range of topics including: Operations Mapping approaches, systems-based management, standardizing operations, calculating costs and ROI for systems improvements and a whole lot more.

Managing Change and Growth

How to Grow Your Business Without Spiraling Out of Control

Growth is a BIG topic for today’s business leaders in organizations of all sizes, industries. If you’re already on a fast trajectory or in expansion mode, you’ve probably experienced some of the operational challenges in scaling an organization. Here’s what your C-level peers are telling us: “We still operate off tribal knowledge.” “There’s no standardization. READ MORE

Trends in SOPs

Documenting the Dynamics Between People and Technology  As technology advances there are more and more functions being performed by software. This change has started to impact Polices and Procedures in very interesting ways. Traditionally, the bigger picture “how to’s” (In Zavanta Speak its called a Process) allowed for the authors to spell out who performed READ MORE

Best Practice vs Better Practice – Testing and Refining SOPs

There are layers of gems in this recent Forbes article, which focuses on how to affect change in a “slow-to-change” arena such as government. The article by Eliza Berman was originally published in the Daily Muse. We love this view of best practice vs. better practice. “…the idea that something is the best implies that READ MORE

Trying to Grow…the Role of Business Operations

“Growth is a competency that must be baked into the DNA of the company.” – Sean Ellis, Entrepreneur Magazine Preparing and supporting growth in business operations is one common reason companies implement Zavanta SOP software, and that topic regularly comes up in implementation coaching. As a borderline “obsessive” reader of  operational management literature, I see READ MORE

3 Ways to Motivate Employees When Everything’s Lousy

According to a Gallup researcher quoted in The Wall Street Journal article, “How to Motivate Employees in Tough Times” there are 3 things organization’s can do to keep employees motivated and focused during tough times. Communicate more—not less. Set clear expectations—make sure people know what they’re supposed to do Show the way forward—focus on the READ MORE

Is “Layoff the Layoffs” Good Advice?

Is it me or is it reality that in this economic crisis the conversation about “streamlining” always seems to lead back to job slashing. I’m watching a TV debate as a write this post about layoffs and how some executives have different ideas. It seems that the knee-jerk reaction to bad times is cutting headcount. READ MORE

Manage the “Human Factor” to Overcome Change Resistance (Part 1)

Overcoming barriers to implementing positive organizational change is a huge challenge. Too many companies want to standardize operations and streamline business processes only to run aground when they try to implement changes. Why is that? We ran across a thought-provoking article, “The Non-Technical Side of Reliability,” by Mike Aroney that’s definitely worth a read. Aroney READ MORE

Manage the “Human Factor” to Overcome Change Resistance (Part 2)

In a pre-holiday post, we started commenting on a thought-provoking article The Non-Technical Side of Reliability by Mike Aroney that offers some insights into why so many companies fail to achieve their goals to standardize operations and streamline business processes because of the all too common barrier of resistance to change. It’s not the technical READ MORE

Manage the “Human Factor” to Overcome Change Resistance — Disengaged Leadership

According to Mike Aroney’s article, “The Non-Technical Side of Reliability,” disengaged leadership is the first of three common errors organizations fall into when they try to implement change. “. . .Disengaged leadership delegates the performance initiative to subordinates. This is usually because leaders believe they are too busy [to become directly involved]. It is paramount READ MORE

Manage the “Human Factor” to Overcome Change Resistance–Under-Communicating

According to Mike Aroney’s article, The Non-Technial Side of Reliability, the second most common error organizations fall into when trying to overcome change resistance is Under-Communicating. They focus on the technical side and forget the all important Human factor. “Typically, technical problem-solvers underestimate the value of communicating information to the organization. . . . In READ MORE

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