What's Your Secret Sauce?
No one cares what you do. I know this seems a bit harsh but it is a reality all the same. There are many other companies that can fulfill the need your company currently fills or what you do. But there are probably none that can fill that need in the way or HOW you do it. It is not the “What” that your customers care about, it is the “How you do what you do” that makes you special. So, why is it that so few companies truly have their How documented?
There are a few of you right now that are saying, “Well that isn’t a problem at our company. We have very detailed standard operating processes.” Then there are a few others that are thinking, “So what, my team generally understands our approach.” We find most of the businesses we work with are in one of these two camps, overly detailed processes or really nothing documented. Or worse, they have both.
We find that right approach is in the middle. Documenting the 20% that gets you 80% of the results. That 20% would be the high level steps for your 6 to 10 core processes. Not the 100 steps for each of your 20 “core” processes. This high level approach is what ends up dialing in your “special sauce.” This is the how you do what you do. Taking this simplified approach is how you get the most return on your buck. If you are too detailed when documenting your processes, they will be difficult or onerous to follow and if they aren’t documented, they are impossible to follow.
Once you get your core processes down, then you need to start the hard part and get them followed-by-all. I will get into the details of followed-by-all next month but understand that it is impossible to take this step if you haven’t taken the time and documented your special sauce. So, get your 6 to 10 core processes down and start truly taking advantage of your How.