In cooking, chefs assemble their “mis en place” – all the ingredients that they need for their dish. They do this before they actually need it and prior to the dinner rush. This eliminates the need to continually go back to the refrigerator, usually in the back of the kitchen, during the busiest part of the evening.
If chefs do not take this approach, you can imagine half a dozen busy cooks running around the kitchen, with knives and fire, trying to find their ingredients for hungry diners waiting for their meal. You may have actually been on the receiving end of this kind of confusion at some point in time – getting slow service and poorly-executed food.
Chaotic environments like that are not conducive to excellent service delivery (or good meals). There are no standards, no proactivity, no automation, and no efficiencies.
Restaurants aren’t the only businesses that suffer from a lack of structure. Think of a department, a process or a division – or maybe your whole organization. Apply this CRAPI template and ask yourself which description describes that area/process/division the best:
Chaotic – every day, every situation, every problem is new and unplanned for. Your processes are a mess, your customers are not happy.
Reactive – you wait for the phone to ring, and whatever comes up, you handle it. No forecasting, no planning, no proactivity.
Active – you have a thought-out structure and team members that know what to do, and you respond to requests. But you also handle day-to-day activities.
Proactive – you think ahead of your customers. You plan and engage in development. You gather data, analyze and make predictions. You are actively engaged in making things better.
Integrated – Your business runs itself. There are no work-arounds, no special exceptions. Your sales, marketing, services, operations and other departments work seamlessly together. You ask yourself everyday if you even need to go into the office because things work so well.
With a little effort, you can improve your situation in business and in life. Apply a CRAPI lens to all aspects of your world – get real, get busy, and get better!