I help finance directors get off Excel. On a mission to end the drama and expense of "big bang" transformation projects

What kind of a business are you? Do you sell things? Do you sell services? Do these things and services require extended support from your business or are they “fire and forget” purchases?

Have you discovered yet that you’re a knowledge business?

Getting too excited about systems?

Some people get excited about implementing technical systems. Some people get even more excited and we implement technical projects to connect systems.

But at some point you might get so excited about the technology systems that we’re implementing that we forget why we’re doing it.

We forget our mission.

Remember that our business’ mission is accelerated by making money. Technical systems *cost* money. They are not directly contributing to our mission – they are a cost centre, they are a time-sink, they are efficiency improvements.

A system may save you time and money in order to focus on your mission but they are not a direct contributor to efficiency – so you should stop treating them like they are.

If you’re spending too much time on your systems and not enough on making money then you’ve got the balance wrong.

Your bank balance will soon enough tell you that this is the case. But what if your system IS your business?

Not getting excited enough about systems?

If your entire business is built around knowledge management then your systems need to be good. You’d also better pay attention when you change them.

So how do you know if you’re a knowledge business?

  • You have more customers than employees (you are leveraged).
  • You provide a valuable service to your customers through regular interactions.
  • Your income is directly predicated on the number of customers you attract as well as the level of service you provide.
  • Your business reputation is closely tied to the service you provide.

If all of these are true then you are a knowledge business. Additionally:

  • Are you a professional body or offer accreditation?
  • Are you providing a customer path or journey through your products or services?

If so then you are also a knowledge business who has a double jeopardy in systems. Your systems are a key part of your offering.

As a knowledge business, your systems are vital to your business. Your systems should be treated and managed with respect. Transformations projects should be handled with care.

For a knowledge business this means much more than taking an interest. Do everything in your power to stay in control of the transformation and to focus on the results that you need to power your business for the next 5-10 years of growth.

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