What annoyed or frustrated you about your business pre-pandemic? What seemed slow, inefficient, costly, or inaccurate? What business process, or lack of, created the most friction, customer complaints, and rework?

Your responses to these or similar questions can be useful in shining a light on the processes and systems in your firm that need improving. And there is no better time than right now to retool before the economy starts to bounce back.

Accelerating Out of the Turn

We’ve created a six-part blog series called “Accelerating Out of the Turn” outlining the key elements leaders need to think about in the first half of 2021 to capitalize on the upcoming economic relaunch. Today we’ll be continuing onwards with step 4 of 6 acceleration steps being covered:

retool for growth

1. Acceleration Plan– Create a business plan to accelerate out of the downturn.

2. Stand Out — Stand out from the competition in the eyes of your target customers.

3. Stay Visible — Remain active and easily accessible in the marketplace.

4. Retool for Growth — Adapt and improve systems, processes, and people.

5. Referral Partners — Create a network of strategic referral partnerships.

6. Lead with Health & Hope — Adopt and encourage healthy team behaviours.


If you haven’t read the third step, we recommend reading Tips to Build Market Exposure For Your Business [Accelerate Part 3] before continuing on with step four.

The Power of Business Processes

the power of business processes

When someone asks, “what is the structure of your business?”, most people respond with an organization chart description: people, titles, departments, and lines of reporting. But another way of thinking about any organization is as a system of processes. Each process accepts inputs, executes work, uses resources, and produces an output. Sometimes the output is sold to an external customer, but other times our customers are internal to form a value chain.

Processes and systems determine results, so if the results you are getting now aren’t what you want, the solution is to think about the processes creating those results. Productivity expert James Clear suggests that the best path to success is by focusing on processes, systems, and habits.

“The greatest benefit that goals provide is direction, and once you have a clear direction, pretty much all your energy should be focused on the system and the process.”

– James Clear

Business process management is a large body of knowledge, but we can achieve significant wins by following a few simple steps:

1. Target Key Business Processes

Brainstorm a list of the processes that come to mind when you ask the questions posed at the start of this section. What processes create the most complaints, rework, stress, and cost in your business? From there, select a shortlist to focus on.

2. Involve the Right People

Bring together the individuals who are closest to the processes you’ve selected. These Individuals usually already have great ideas for improvement.

3. Confirm Business Process Documentation 

Ask, “is this process documented?” If not, simply documenting the current process can identify immediate and easy fixes or highlight a lack of consistency that may be the root of problems. There are a variety of tools for doing this including checklists, recipes, and flowcharts.

4. Define and Test Business Process Changes 

Brainstorm in a group changes that could be made and then, once changes are proposed, give yourself time to test them to confirm that they will drive improved results.

5. Re-document  

When process changes have been proven out, redocument the new process. This will support ongoing consistency and help with training and succession as different employees get involved with the process in the future.

Once you work through these steps with one key process in your business, you can then go back and select another, iterating the continuous improvement loop.

One process that should be on your shortlist right now is your recruiting process. Ask yourself the question, “would I enthusiastically rehire every member of our current team?” If the answer is anything other than an enthusiastic “YES”, then this is a good time to consider rethinking recruiting to increase the chances of hiring A Players going forward.

Process thinking is a critical tool in every leader’s toolkit, and to effectively accelerate out of the turn, your business engine needs to be tuned up and firing on all cylinders.

Acceleration Readiness Assessment

  1. In your firm, are key processes documented to help with consistency and onboarding of new employees?
  2. Do team members regularly make suggestions for process improvements that get considered and sometimes implemented?
  3. Do you follow a world-class recruiting process to increase the chances of hiring A Players?

Next Steps

Are you ready to grow in 2021? We can help to update your business process. Book a chat with a member of our team for professional advice to improve business strategy and execution.

Eager to learn how to accelerate out of the downturn? Gain access to all 6 steps by downloading our free guide to the 6 Essential Steps to Accelerate Out of the (Down) Turn now!

free accelerate business guide