This morning, I went to look for my favorite red shirt.
I couldn't find it. It wasn't where it "belonged" in my closet. (Yes, I have a place where it belongs...) My clothes were out of order, some stuff that I'd put on one day but not ended up wearing were piled off to the side (instead of re-hung on hangers).
The other day when I was rushing to put away laundry, I wedged my jeans into my athletic wear drawer, just to get it done. Then I wondered why I couldn't find them...
You would think it wouldn't be a big deal: just pick another shirt. Open the other drawer. But when you're already behind, and you know something should be there, but it's not, it becomes stressful. And then you feel off the rest of the day.
Do you ever have this experience at work? Something as routine as “getting dressed” (ie: project planning, shared drives, new hire onboarding) becomes complicated and stressful because things aren’t where they belong and no one is using the system that was established to make it easy in the first place.
That’s where systems come in! Maybe you never created a system in the first place. Or maybe you have a system in place, but aren’t great at adhering to it.
Systems support culture which support your mission. Without systems, you make it infinitely harder to achieve your mission.
You need to be wearing the right clothes to accomplish the mission. Going for a run? You need easy access to your running shoes. Going to the moon? You better know where your space suit is hanging. Onboarding a new team member? Your employee handbook should be the first thing you grab to prepare.
Is your “closet” at work set up to support your mission?
- Do you have the right items in your closet?
- Do you have the right systems to remember where everything goes?
- Are they actually working to do the things you want to do?
- Are the systems in the right place?
- Does the rest of your team know how to keep the closet organized?
You’ve probably thought about these questions, but ran into a wall coming up with the solutions. If you’d like help coming up with the perfect system for your metaphorical closet, talking with a business operations and organizational expert would be the perfect first step.
Check out our info below.
Elizabeth Knox, MatchPace
Alex Suchman, AIS Collaborations
Messy closet: Khaoula1991 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Scream: Twitter [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons