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MintonDickes on the Power of Systems for Success

MintonDickes on the Power of Systems for Success


Bruce Dickes & Dennis Minton 

Minton Dickes
(Bruce DickesDennis Minton are Organizational Consultants. Enjoy the Monday Morning Minute.)

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing” – W. Edwards Deming 


There is a seemingly endless supply of bestsellers, CDs and seminars, everything for the one minute manager or counselor salesman searching for excellence and positioning through a vast array of mega-trend, all the while avoiding getting their cheese moved.

That’s a mouthful. Every one of these instant-results products promises a different critical key to success for the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed professional, up early and out to get the proverbial worm. How can anyone make sense of this? They can’t all be right, can they?

Actually, none of them is right. As much as skill training and the wisdom of gurus may help, the real key is not to sell smarter, computerize the office, manage by wandering around or any of two dozen other sure-fire gizmos.

Systems are Difference-Makers

Systems are the real key – a pre-planned, on-purpose approach to the handful of difference-making activities that will bring sustained success. It is what separates the men from the boys, the power lunch women from the girls.

That was easy, wasn’t it? It sounds easy, but it requires hard work to install a meaningful, useful set of systems, but people are more effective with systems than without them.

What are Systems?

A system is a process – an organized approach to an activity, such as annual planning or supervision for managers or prospecting or closing for sales people. It is all the things that are said or done to further that effort, decided on in advance, and done the same way every time. That’s all there is to it.

As an example, a prospecting system would include the exact method for generating the prospects, how and when the first contact will be made, what to say in the telephone approach, and the specifics of every step in moving to the sales presentation.

Make Systems Work for You

Everyone should remember the following concepts to make a system effective:

  1. Keep it simple. It will be easier to master and harder to get away from.
  2. Learn it well and use it often. A system is really just a well thought-out, consciously arrived at habit.
  3. Use it the same way every time. It will be of little value if it is seldom employed. If it is any good, repetition only will make it better.
  4. Involve others. Professional managers and sales people should let office staff handle as many details of as many systems as possible, freeing them for the things they do best.
  5. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Others have fought – and won – the same battles we are fighting. Seek out and learn from their experience.
  6. Integrate individual systems. Sales people especially can benefit by tying together systems (sales presentation, prospecting, client-building, business management, and so on), to make them fit as a seamless whole. This will provide an endless activity chain.
  7. Automate whenever possible. Systems should be labor-saving devices. The on-the-ball pro should use computers, support staff, and shortcuts to free up valuable time for other important opportunities.

– Dennis S. Minton and Bruce E. Dickes

About MintonDickes

MintonDickes Consulting offers organizations decades of experience to deliver improved results more quickly, more successfully and more affordably in the long-run.
Not a one-size-fits-all or cookie-cutter approach. We help clients challenge conventional wisdom to achieve order of magnitude improvements.
Our job is to provide the opportunity to out-think the competition, implement the critical solutions for meaningful and lasting impact


Dennis S. Minton
Bruce E Dickes

Minton Dickes Consulting