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The Power of the Checklists

Michelle Spalding
 


Visitors: 155

Checklists are not unique in bringing a business to order and perhaps nothing

new to my fellow entrepreneurs. Yet, many of my soulful entrepreneur clients

initially and sometimes consistently resist using them and often work much

harder than necessary. Many mistakes can be dramatically reduced or

eliminated, by putting together simple checklists and using them.

“Really?!?!?” you say. Yes, in my business checklists are essential in making

sure the projects are completed and the details are not overlooked, and that we

all have the “directions" needed to succeed.

We’re not alone. Consider the following who have implemented checklists that

have saved lives, avoided disasters and gotten more accomplished.

Renowned John Hopkins Hospital critical-care specialist, Dr. Peter Pronovost,

put together a simple five-step checklist in 2001 for installing lines in the human

body during care. Almost immediately, infection rates plummeted at John

Hopkins. He shared the results and the checklist with a handful of the worst

hospitals in the Country and within the first three months of the program in

Michigan the infection rate of Michigan ICUs decreased by 65%.

Boeing almost went bankrupt when one of their top pilots crashed a newly-
designed bomber right in front of top military brass. Realizing their new

generation of aircraft was too complicated for even the best pilots, Boeing

created a simple checklist and proceeded to sell over 13,000 planes that flew

over 1.8 million miles without a crash.

Your turn, time to download what's in your head and create some checklists.

YOU are the expert on your business! You know how it works, and the processes

that have brought you THIS far! But, unless your company is staffed by

mind-readers (or you plan for it to be when you hire), you are a slave to your

business every day, so long as others are not EMPOWERED and EQUIPPED

to take charge of their area, their assignments, without your constant input.

Your freedom comes from downloading how you do what you do, and creating

checklists.

When I work one-on-one with a client who is ready to hire a team member

or two, we begin by creating a checklist system for all the processes in their

business that need to be performed in a consistent manner (i. e. setting up a

new customer, processing an order, social media marketing, etc. ). How your

individual business operates (all the business of your business) will remain in

your head if, as an entrepreneur, you have never taken the time to download it

out of your head and into written documents (i. e. checklists, procedures, policies,

forms, etc. ).

Once you have created these detailed documents, they should be gathered and

organized into an Operations Manual for your company.

Now before you think – “WHAT?? is she crazy? I don't have anyone working

for me, why do I need to do this now?” Here's the deal, an Operations Manual

is like an instructions manual for how things are done. With it you can easily

hire someone to do the activities that aren’t the highest and best use of your

time. Depending on the task, it could even be handled by my favorite, a Virtual

Assistant, giving you more time to focus more on the things you’re great at,

especially those that lead to following your passion and new business.

Don't overwhelm yourself, just pick an area where you regularly do something,

make a checklist for how it's ideally done and follow it so you don't forget

anything. Then pick another area and another area. Pretty soon you'll have

a system in place and a manual with instructions to help your first hire do a

spectacular job for your business.

Keep dreaming BIG, you've got something magical the world needs and with help

you'll change the world.


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