Momentum Podcast: 892
How to Achieve Business Success Through Operational Excellence
by Alex Charfen
In this episode, Alex talks about why operations are important. How they can change your business and relieve constraints off your team and yourself. This will be a game changer for you and everyone in your business and will create flow. If you want to know how to do this, this episode is for you!
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
In one of my companies. I had a CTO, one of our executive team members, Travis Brodin, who when somebody would say, “I have an idea”. He would say, “Ideas are free. Execution is everything”. And it was just this reminder that ideation is the first step of a process. But if you want to see your vision come to reality in the world, if you want to change the world, if you want to help people, if you want to make a contribution, make an impact and make an income. Then execution is literally everything to getting all of that done. The idea is important, but execution is what actually makes it happen. So today I'd like to share with you some of my thoughts on operational excellence and execution and how that changes everything in an entrepreneurial business.
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.
Most entrepreneurial businesses are run by a visionary like me, I would say the vast majority of. I'm sure there's some that aren't run by visionaries, but they're usually like service firms and stuff like accountants or lawyers where it's somebody who has a company that is their job. But when you look at most businesses that are run by a visionary, and when you look at the visionary personality type, which I'm a ten out of ten visionary, sometimes people joke that I'm a 12 out of ten visionary. You know, the visionary personality type spends a ton of time in the future and has visions and understandings and sees how you can solve problems, sees how you can make things better and improve things around you. And that ability to go into the future, create a new reality, come back to the present and demand it becomes real is extraordinary. As visionaries, we are literally… been given this same, the power as the creator to create in this world. It's extraordinary. I mean, everybody has that power, but as visionaries, we do it in a way where it changes the world. And if it changes the world, if it goes from being an idea to actually being executed. And this is actually a major issue for us as visionaries, because along with everything that I just explained, all those strengths, all those abilities, I explained, here's the other challenge. For most of us as visionaries, and I know I've struggled with this my whole life. It's one of my childhood core wounds. One of the things that has been so hard for me as a visionary my whole life, is being seen and heard the way I'm intending to communicate. If you're a visionary, you might relate to this. Like, have you ever had a time where you're just communicating with somebody in a tone that's normal and they respond to you like you're angry or like they're scared of you? And that's a pretty common issue for visionaries. If you're a visionary, maybe you've told someone, “Hey, this is exactly how I want this done”. And here's the step by step, only to come back and see that they did it totally differently and they didn't even hear you. It's like you didn't say anything. Or as a visionary, how many times has there been where you tell someone something, you explain it to them thoroughly, and the next day they ask you this same question again. So challenging. I used to blame the rest of the world for that. But as a visionary, here's what I know: It's my responsibility to be seen and heard. It's my responsibility to communicate in a way that people can receive. It's my responsibility to share what I need, what I want done in a way that it can actually be executed. And the challenge for most of us visionaries is there's a massive gap there. There's a massive gap in what we see in the future. There's a massive gap in what we want to build and what we're able to explain and what we're able to share.
And so as visionaries, operational excellence changes how we show up in the world. It changes what we're capable of getting done. It changes what our capacity is. And it will eventually. If you have a company that operates well, it will eventually expand your capacity to even create a vision. This is how important this is, because for us as visionaries, the way that we communicate often confuses people. The way that we share information often confuses people. In the morning when I set my intention, I often say I want to communicate in a way that is not overwhelming and is seen and heard. And here's how you can do that consistently. Here's how you can change your business so that you can do that consistently. Simplification of a business changes everything. Simplicity scales, and complexity creates constraint. And so here's what I mean by simplifying a business, creating a system and a structure so that you communicate within a system so that your team knows when they're going to hear from you, so that your team knows why they're going to hear from you. So their team knows what they're going to hear from you. And so by setting up a structure, we call it the Simple Operation System (SOS). There's other business operation systems out there. I of course think ours is the best. But by setting up a structure where your team knows in advance that on any given day of the month, you're going to get together and you're going to do your quarterly planning, you're going to look at all the projects you have. You're going to bring information to the table to share with the team and the teams prep for it. They know what they're going to hear from you. They know why they're going to hear from you. They know what their objectives are coming out of that meeting. That changes everything. When we as visionaries simplify by communicating through a structure, by and when we simplify by putting an operating system in place that will help us scale our business, but it will also help us communicate better with our team and have our team hear us.
You know, recently I've been doing a ton of intense coaching along with my wife Katie, with a really extraordinary coach we've been working with. And I love some of the theories that he shared with me, and I'll share one of them with you and just share kind of a thought process he took me through. Here's what he told me. Order. So order. Organization, order. Putting things in a structure, putting things in routine order in general creates resonance, which creates comfort, then excitement. Let me explain how I interpret that order. Putting things in order, having a morning routine. Having your planning, knowing where you're headed. Having absolute clarity on what your goals are. Understanding what you're measuring, understanding what you're responsible for. All of that order creates resonance. You know, resonance is that feeling of harmony. Resonance is that feeling of alignment. Resonance is that feeling when not just your mind but your body says yes. And he says, when you create resonance, first you create comfort, then you create excitement. This is why I think it's so hard for us as visionaries to understand that if we create order, we create resonance, then we create comfort and excitement. Because here's the issue for us as visionaries, comfort is sometimes uncomfortable. We're used to racing. We're used to being uncomfortable. We're used to needing to do too much. We're used to the never ending to do list. We're used to being overwhelmed. And so when we create structure and order in our business, it creates resonance, that comfort comes and oftentimes we become uncomfortable and we can't get to the excitement and then we create disorder. Let me show the other side of this with you. So disorder, not having things in the right place, not having a system, not having a structure, doing different things every day, having that be haphazard, trying to do it through a flow and figuring things out. And, you know, not really having a system through which you're executing, that is disorder. And disorder creates dissonance and dissonance creates disease. Dissonance creates all types of challenges. Dissonance creates disorder in businesses when everybody in the company doesn't understand where you're going and why. When everyone in the organization isn't clear on what they're doing. When everyone in the organization doesn't understand what you're measuring to see if they're successful, that creates dissonance within a company. Dissonance is that feeling of not being aligned. Dissonance. Dissonance is that feeling of why are we even doing this? Dissonance is that feeling of this is not working and it probably won't work. And dissonance is that feeling of disorder, of having things out of order, of having challenges. Having issues of having things not be like they should be. And I know this is like a different take or a different way to look at this, but I truly believe that when we have disorder in our lives and we do not have things where they need to be, and we're not in a place where we've created order, we've created structure, we've created an organization, we've created a process around us that that really does create dissonance. And depending on the level of dissonance, that dissonance will create disease.
And this may seem a little out there, like how do you create disease out of not having, like, your office organized or your day organized or keeping things in the right place? But here's what I know. With every cell in my body, with the research that I've done, the people that I've worked with, the patterns that I've watched in the entrepreneurial space when we are in a place of disorder, when there is too much going on, when there's high pressure and noise, when we're not taking care of ourselves, we actually really do create that dissonance. And I can't tell you how many times in my career I've lost count where I know one of my clients is overclocking. I know they're stressed. I know they're in a place of disorder. I know they're doing way too many things. I know they're trying to rescue their team. I know they're in a stress response. They're in that fight, flight, fawn or freeze, that parasympathetic nervous system response. It has everything overclocked and reactive and just ready to be triggered. And when you know that within a few weeks they get sick. And not only have I seen the entrepreneurs themselves get sick, but I've actually seen people on their team get sick at the same time. In fact, we joke around in our company that like when there's 2 or 3 people sick in the same company, there's probably something going on in that organization that is making them sick. The stress on our bodies, the overclocking, the reactivity, it wears us down. It wears down our immune system. It wears down our whole hormone system. It wears down like the entire bodily functions system, to the point where you get worn down. You get worn down more, you get exhausted, you get fatigued, your immune system dips, and then you are a vector for disease, bacteria, infections. Something is going to come after you if you are weak, that's their job. And the harder we go, the more we go heads down, the more we lean into that disorder. Even though that's oftentimes what the entrepreneurial world says we should do. The more dissonance and disease we create, the more challenges we create. The more frustration we create, the more pain we create for ourselves.
And so if you're looking to scale your company, the place where you should focus is bringing order to your company, installing a system so that you know the following: Exactly what everyone in the company is working on. What are all the outcomes in the organization? What are all the projects? What are the projects you're executing, the people you're working with? The process is your document documenting the policies you're implementing all of those things in one place, called the strategic plan that you publish on a monthly basis. So every person in the company knows exactly where you're going. And then in addition to that, every one of those projects should have measurements. So your whole team knows whether they're winning or losing. And they have a clear perspective. And if you have clarity around the projects and clarity around measurement, and then you add in accountability by each person knowing exactly what their responsibilities are, you create massive order in your company. Then if you add in having the same types of meetings at the same time every week, every month, every quarter with the same people, and you go through the same discussion to have the same outcomes, what you find is that the projects change, the company grows, the system in structure grows with you, but you can do the same thing every month, the same thing every quarter with different projects. And you know what? That consistency of process allows for the inconsistency of what you're doing. Because the company is shifting, you do different things. Projects are going to be different. And that way you have consistency of process, supporting the inconsistency of your projects. And that creates massive order. And again, order creates resonance and resonance creates comfort and then excitement. You know, it's like when you finish the planning and you have everything in order and you look at it and you know what it's like. I'm comfortable. My body feels good, my body's not reacting to any part of this. And then if I lean into it a little bit more, I actually feel the excitement of what we're going to get done. I actually feel the excitement of all the projects happening and how we're going to move forward and what we're going to do as an organization. And so for you as a visionary, what I want you to know is that when you create order, when you create structure, that is one of the fastest ways for you to move forward, for you to achieve what you want, for you to move in the direction of getting everything you want. And if there are places in your life where there is a lack of order, go take care of those. Where are the places in your life that are causing you pressure and noise? Where are the places in your life that are causing you frustration? Those are the places where you should focus. Even though it may not seem like the right thing to do today, when you eliminate pressure and noise in your life, you pick up extra capacity. Everywhere you pick up your nervous system capacity, you pick up extra energetic capacity, you pick up extra decision making capacity, and you will do better everywhere.
As a visionary entrepreneur, if you are looking to bring order to your company, we'd love to talk to you. And Simple Operations, my company, we work with visionary entrepreneurs to install a process where we help you bring a massive order your company without you having to do it all yourself, and we will help you get to a place in your company where you're running it without being interrupted, without counsel, countless meetings, without your entire calendar being full, where you can run into a place where you actually bring your life, your marriage, or your relationship and your business into order so that you have comfort and then excitement and you get into massive momentum. If you're interested in understanding what we do, you can go to SimpleOperations.com, click on the link on the homepage and sign up for a call with us. It's an hour call and we will help you understand where your company is today. We will help you work through where you want it to go. You may already know we just want to understand it. And then we'll help you understand the bottlenecks, the challenges, the issues that you're facing and what the solutions for those may be. And if we can help you, we'll explain how. SimpleOperations.com. Sign up for a call with us. We'd love to talk to you. And in the meantime, remember, order is the highest priority in a company.