Over the holidays, I got to spend a lot of good quality time with my family. We had lots of food (and libations), zero cell reception, and a closet full of games. It was so nice to be able to reconnect with the people that matter most and unplug from the normal chaos to which we've all become so accustomed. We spent plenty of time sitting around a game table sharing memories and playing our old favorite games.
The crowd favorite – JENGA!
Who doesn't love jenga?! For those of you that's been living under a rock, jenga is a game that begins by building a tower of blocks. Each row has three blocks side by side. Each row is stacked on another forming a tall yet stable tower. All participants then go around and (using one hand) must remove one block from the tower without compromising the stability of the tower and place the pulled block on the top of the tower, adding to the height. If the tower tumbles during your turn, you lose the game.
The first few rounds, things seem easy. Blocks are being pulled from the tower and placed atop the blocks without too much disruption to the infrastructure as a whole. This feeling is fleeting. There are some blocks that can be pulled from the tower that are less destructive to the foundation and some blocks, when pulled, change the entire stability of the tower. Others seem like they are wiggly and can be easily removed from the tower without detrimental effects, yet when the seemingly harmless block is moved, the entire tower comes tumbling down.
The same is true with our business and the infrastructure that system operations build and stabilize. Each process and procedure is a “block” in your “tower”, if you will. Groups of these processes (or blocks) create the rows that stack upon themselves to build a strong and stable tower. If we begin to pull from our core processes and poke holes where they should not be, the entire infrastructure is at risk and may cause a tumbling effect. Without streamlined operations and optimal use of business resources for efficiency and effectiveness, we as business owners can find ourselves spread far too thin. Being pulled in several directions and trying to scale your business without proper infrastructure is like pulling a block from a wobbling tower and adding the weight to the already top-heavy stack. Maybe this block doesn't tip your tower but will the next? Will the next mismanaged process be the block that causes your tower to crumble and succumb to the weight of your scaling business?