Business Management So You Can Surf

Business ManagementI love the story that the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Choinard, built Patagonia in a way that he could leave at any moment to surf.  He said that surfing was the best thing that ever happened to him because it motivated him to create systems that did not require his constant presence.

Systems are key to optimal business management, particularly for business owners.  We need time and space for many reasons, including dealing with the occasional emergencies, working on long-term growth ideas, working on those important but not urgent priorities, and able to do something thoughtful for a customer, employee, or partner.  Plus, it creates more long-term value and competitive advantage to build systems to operate your business rather than rely on heroic effort from yourself and others.

It is an art to develop good systems.  There is a balance between process efficiencies and overly rigid processes.  I believe anything you can do to improve your skill in building systems is good for your business management, good for creating long-term value in your business, and good for your ability to go surfing on a moment’s notice.