Business Brain Surgeon
by Dr Greg Chapman
Director- Australian Business Coaching
Are you working longer and taking home less
than your staff? Are you working all hours of the day and night and still
barely managing to keep your customers happy? Are you unable to delegate
or outsource work to give you more time to work on your business? If the
answer to any of these questions is yes, maybe its time you learnt what
Brain Surgeons do.
Most business owners we talk to believe
almost everything they do in their business, only they can do. They have
learnt from experience if they give work to someone else, they mess it up.
And then they spend twice as long fixing things. But this is not what
Brain Surgeons do. When they operate on a patient, they are not in charge
of the theatre- the theatre nurse is. They donít open up the patient, or
close. They leave that to a junior surgeon. Everything is prepared for
them, and someone else mops up the blood later. All they do is the brain
surgery. And some marketing before hand (client needs), and afterwards
How is this possible?
Hospitals have very sophisticated systems,
and everyone is highly trained in their use. There are checks and
counter-checks. Nothing is left to chance. And the very expensive surgeon,
the most highly trained person in the theatre, only does what he or she
has been trained to do. They donít waste their time doing jobs others can
do. In other words they donít spend dollar time on penny jobs. So the
brain surgeon only does the brain surgery, and a bit of
This is, of course, a rather simplistic
description of a brain surgeonís job. And I hasten to add an apology to
any brain surgeons reading this if they feel insulted (after all, you
never know I might need their services in the future- some might argue my
need is immediate!) The point of this for business owners is to understand
where the real brain surgery is in their business. The part of their job
that is most valuable to the business. The part only they can do, which
for most business owners, is only a very small part of their time.
Examples of brain surgery are: the marketing
of your business, the relationships with your key customers, or if you are
a consultant, the analysis of the problem you have been asked to solve.
Not data entry, or possibly even data collection. And not the bookkeeping. So the challenge for business
owners is to identify what part of their role is brain surgery.
Theoretically, everything else can and should be delegated or outsourced.
So you can spend more time on what generates your business
A great theory, but how can you make this
happen in the real world?
Business Systems. When you delegate or
outsource, you need to document what the person who is doing the work will
receive and what they will return to you, complete with standards and the
form in which they will provide it to you. Then all involved need training
in the system. This takes some work, but for a small investment in your
time, the dividends are huge.
The theatre nurse does not know how to do
brain surgery, but they know before the operation, what equipment the
surgeon will need, and when they will need it. They will also know how the
theatre and patient are to be prepared. Detailed procedures will have been
developed so everyone in the theatre will know their role, and the brain
surgeon will have optimised his or her time doing what they have been
specifically trained to do.
When you know where the brain surgery is in
your business, you will be able to leverage your time. You will spend more
time with your customers, and more time working on your business, rather
than in it. Ultimately, you will have a business that runs without
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