High Performing Business – Freedom – Trust
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
The more robust your business processes, the more freedom you have to live your life the way you’d like to in the moment without having to micro manage the processes required to run your operation. I’ve lived by this axiom the past two decades and it’s served me very well with running Cheetah Learning. I remember in 2003 when I got my first slide in camper for a pick up truck and headed west from Connecticut to Alaska for the summer, Bob who ran the accounting firm we used said to me – “How the heck can you get away with taking off from your office for the summer?” But it isn’t just the freedom to come and go as I please for setting up robust business processes with running the business – the ultimate reason to do so is for business performance.
You can have great people in the business, but without great business processes, they will not shine. It’s not for them to create the great business processes, it’s for the owner to do this. This is what is referred to as working on the business rather than in the business. I do a bi-annual assessment of the performance of our core business processes. Some processes though get more review than others as we are in a perpetual state of automation of some of the key processes – course registration and delivery management being one of them. When I set up Cheetah Learning’s processes – the goal was to grow the business by a factor of ten over growth in back end head count. And as we have continued to work on the performance and automation of our core processes, we have very much succeeded in creating a stable business on the foundation of simple automated business processes we trust.
It isn’t just the processes to run the day to day operations, it’s also the processes for delivering our courses. When a student registsers for any Cheetah courses, they know they can trust they will achieve their learning objectives regardless of who they get as an instructor. All our instructors are certified in following the process of the course for which they are certified. This ensures that every student gets the same great Cheetah experience. This makes it much easier to onboard instructors and make sure they are great instructors. Trust for Cheetah Learning is not some airy fairy feel good concept – it is an engineering metric. How well I can “trust” our processes to deliver the results for which they are designed is measured by how well that process performs as designed – whether it be with student registration, venue selection, or student pass rates. Better process performance builds trust that provides the freedom to focus on more strategic and creative elements of the business.