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How to Create Great Systems

How do YOU make a paper airplane?

I’ve got an exercise for you and the team. Grab a sheet of paper, then fold it into a paper airplane. But it doesn’t end there! You also have to write down the step-by-step procedure for making that paper airplane. Now, ask a team member to make a paper airplane following your written instructions.

This exercise might sound a tad ridiculous. After all, there’s only one way to make a paper airplane, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are as many ways to make a paper airplane as there are people on the planet. I’ve seen a room full of dentists complete this exercise, and every single one of their airplanes looked different.

Every team member has a different method for completing the same task. A system that makes perfect sense to you might make zero sense to a teammate. When you write down a system, make sure it’s clear and easy to follow so the team can achieve consistency every single time.

Repeat after me: specific is terrific. Vague is the plague.

You can’t improve a system unless it’s already in place. Become a systems-driven practice to maximize efficiency and get everyone on the same page.

Watch this week’s video to see how the paper airplane exercise works!


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