A Systemic Approach in Your Business Will Help Avoid Mistakes

Earlier this month we had our OEC Refresher course.  I always enjoy the annual refresher. It gets me back to thinking about skiing but also doing mock exercises to refresh my mind and hands-on how to splint a break or wrap a broken wrist.

One of the EMT trainers who were lecturing –who is an RN and flies a helicopter to serious accidents — made an interesting comment.

He said, “Mistakes are made for lack of a system, not lack of knowledge.” 

He was pointing out that with every accident scene you come to you should have your routine down it should be systematic and without thought.  It should be routine. 

There is no wrong way but just your way and whatever you feel comfortable with you should do what is necessary to get it done effectively. It is interesting to me as a lawyer how many ways there are to do things well but often an over-dependence upon systems so that you are a slave to your systems.  Systems are no doubt critical in many operations, it is their breakdown that we see in our office.

In an employment matter, the disciplinary patterns broke down so you may have deviated from the policy weakening your case later on in a lawsuit.

Following safety instructions or disposal policies may prevent environmental harm and subsequent liability for a generator of hazardous waste.

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The complicated nature of a sophisticated commercial transaction needs to be systematic so that each detail is covered. In your business, you must think in terms of systems and they must be well-oiled.  They can save you time and money and add efficiencies that help you focus on profit, not problems.

But there is a need for discretion and balance to adjust to situations and that is as important.  Any deviation from a system should be reasonable and based upon some general principles of management and the law and known business.

having ready access to a trusted advisor in those situations could help.

So as a ski patrollers we use acronyms to remind us how to assess a patient as we approach them on the ski hill. But we also rely upon our team of fellow patrollers who help us along the way to address those unique circumstances that always occur so that we are at least covering all the bases. 

What assessment tools do you use in your business?

As we move towards the end of another year and find ourselves still open and running and paying bills and the sky has not fallen, consider assessing your operation.

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