If you can’t seem to get a grip on your calendar, you can analyze how you are spending your time. It probably sounds like an additional thing to do in an already busy day. However, it is critical, because only with the right data will you be able to see where you are not being effective and what changes need
Often new ideas come unexpectedly, and they are frequently precious. When you create a new workflow or have a new idea about how to do what you or your teams do daily, the concept is often not enough. For the idea to persist, it must be institutionalized in some way; otherwise it may never be implemented. Then, even if the idea is ultimately implemented, it may disappear after some time.
At Celaque, we are encountering this problem now, as we are in the middle of systematizing how we manage the buildings we develop. Although it is not our first time managing buildings and we already have some systems in place, we are always upgrading how we do it. As a team, we come up with lots of new ideas for innovation. From keeping a book so that the maintenance staff can report anything that happened during their shift to adding bulletin boards so that residents who do not use our software platform can find out about our events and important information, we have been adding many new practices.
Our responsibilities as company managers are many: we must build a great team, structure our organizations in the best way possible, make sure the company is achieving its objectives, and plan for growth. One of the challenges we also face is infusing the company with a sense of trust. Organizations that inspire trust in every direction run more smoothly, and in the end, trust can make the work more enjoyable, too.
Defining the right structure for your company is one of the most important areas in which you can invest your time as an entrepreneur. It is a significant undertaking, especially if the company is already operating under an existing configuration. Nevertheless, your organizational structure will determine how everyone operates within your company. How well it fits the company’s tasks and internal dynamics as well as the external context that it inhabits can make a significant difference in the company’s performance of up 24% [i].
As entrepreneurs, we usually start selling a product or a service. When we begin to have more demand for that product or service, we then decide to build a team and a company. Usually, we start with a simple configuration. Very soon, if we are lucky, we have more work than we can manage so we need to hire more people.
There is an inherent tension in how a company is structured. Too much bureaucracy and creativity and dynamism are thwarted. Too much flexibility and carte blanche and mistakes start to accumulate. Processes are the answer to ensuring that a certain level of quality is consistently maintained, but too many procedures and we start becoming more like machines. Allowing self-organization and inventiveness to emerge within a business can promote the occurrence of breakthroughs that would have otherwise been impossible, but too loose a structure can invite chaos and angry customers.
The tension is inherent, yet unique to each company. The combination of structure, emergence, and flexibility that best suits an organization resides along a multi-dimensional continuum. Some companies may thrive on a higher dose of freedom, while others require a more balanced mixture. You may create the right blend based on the company’s goals, how its teams work together, and what it produces.
When I was in graduate school, I put together my first real to-do list. It was not the type of to-do list where you write down all the assignments you have due in the next week or two. I had done plenty of those which included everything I had been procrastinating that needed to get done. This list was different. It didn’t just include projects for my classes but also personal items as well as commitments I had made in other activities.
As soon as I started writing everything down, I was astounded by how long it was. I hadn’t realized how much work I had been putting off or not even thinking about simply because I hadn’t written everything down. I learned a valuable lesson at that point – if there is even a slight hope that something will get done, I had to write it down first.
Our world is more interconnected than ever. As barriers to information disappear due to technology, the velocity with which knowledge moves is quicker. An interrelated world creates more opportunities for all, and things that were never possible before are achievable today in just seconds. Though this is nothing short of miraculous in comparison to the world before it, it also makes us vulnerable. One broken link in this chain of information travel can have unforeseen repercussions.
To better handle this complexity, it helps to design an organization that responds to this new world of instant communication and information. One way to adapt to this new world is in the way you structure the company. Ideally, the information will flow inside the company similar to how information flows on the outside.
One of the first business management consultants was Frederick Taylor. Taylor was an industrial-era management thinker who worked with factories to ensure maximum efficiency in their production processes. By assigning highly-specialized tasks to the employees in the factory, he managed to shave off significant amounts of time from overall production.
Taylor applied scientific principles to his observations about the production process. From those observations, he then wrote The Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911. In the process, his ideas helped shape current management theory.
As a company grows, its day-to-day operations become more and more complex. Even when a company has the right structure in place to handle all the company’s transactions, communication within the company may not be flowing optimally. The interactions within the structure could be placing an undue burden on a person or a team within the company. A practice we recently developed, which is standard practice in many companies, is the creation of a management team to discuss ongoing management issues. A management team can help your company make communication across departments more fluid and effective.
I am the CEO in my company, Celaque and have been from day one, starting when our team numbered a total of just three people. The dynamics were of course very different then – managing communications and the workload in a small team was fairly easy. With time, however, we grew, and now we are in the final phases of selling/leasing and managing one building, the construction of another, and the development of a third project. Now, with many more transactions and interactions within the company, my role has shifted.
The space we inhabit affects us more than we might imagine. It is the place where our best ideas and work come to fruition. It is also the place where we spend most of our waking hours. If we don’t feel comfortable, we may not be as productive as we would otherwise be. At the very least, we owe it to ourselves to work in an environment that brings out the best in us and in which we are at ease.
This space may not just be in your office– it can also be at home. Both at home and in the office, you can make that space work for you and practical for the work you want to accomplish. At the office, you may have less control over the matter, since you’ve probably been assigned a specific location. Although its physical location might not be your choice, you can always make your work area yours by taking some simple actions.