The Broken System

You have a team whose system is broken. Do you try to fix it, or replace it? Probably one of the trickiest things for a small business to deal with is a system for getting things done that gets nothing done (the beauty of the English language in action). We’ve all faced them, and they’re huge time wasters. But, since we don’t know how to handle them, we let them drain money for months, and even years, before either swapping it for something different or scrapping it all together.

What causes us to let these terrible policies continue for so long, wasting so much money? From my standpoint, it’s the simple issue of not knowing what to do with them. Questions like do I scrap it? or how can I tweak it to make it work right? and all of the possible answers flood our minds, confounding us into making no decision at all. Sometimes, we call in specialists to help us deal with the scenario, and it works when we do. However, we usually let years of money swirl down the drain before taking that action.

If you put good people in bad systems you get bad results. You have to water the flowers you want to grow.

– Stephen Covey

The switch costs us more money the longer we wait as well. The longer we let a broken system run, the more engrained in it our employees become. Since people are resistant to change by their nature, retraining becomes more difficult as the process becomes more habitual. To effectively make a switch, we have to identify a broken system as early as possible, and swiftly take action once we do.

Most often, it is the system, and not the people, that is to blame. You won’t be able to fix most problems by changing the people unless the system works right, nor will you fix it by adding new management.

Brent Beshore, founder of, offers the lessons he’s learned on what a good strategy is (and isn’t). Before you go tackle that social media strategy, make sure you take in what he has to say. I promise that your strategy will be better if you do.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.