If orange is the new black, are you running your business like a prison?
A week or two ago, I was listening to NPR. They were interviewing the author of the book (and now TV seires) called Orange is the New Black. It’s about a woman who ends up in prison after making some bad choices with new and exciting friends.
The author was explaining how prison is very rule-driven. And how the guards are the ones who enforce the rules.
“Except when they don’t,” she said. “Either because they want to do something different or because it simply doesn’t suit them.”
This actually put the prisoners in an impossible situation.
Most prisoners want to and try to follow the rules in prison. However, when the rules are constantly changing at the whim of the guards, it’s impossible for the prisoners to succeed.
Now – I want to change two words in the story.
A business is very rule-driven. And the owners are the ones who enforce the rules.
Except when they don’t. Either because they want to do something different or because it simply doesn’t suit them.
This actually puts employees in an impossible situation.
Most employees want to and try to follow the rules. However, when the rules are constantly changing at the whim of the owners, it’s impossible for the employees to succeed.
Yes, this comparison is a little bit harsh. And it’s still accurate.
If you have employees – or if you PLAN to someday have employees – understand that while you thrive on excitement and change and independent decision-making and making your own rules (which is probably why you started your business in the first place) your employees actually thrive on structure, process, routine, and knowing the rules (else they would have started their own business, too).
Thus, the more consistent leader you are, the more transparent you are about the rules, the happier your employees will probably be. And your customers actually feel better about this, too.
As your business grows, let me help you get out of your own way. Let me help you systematize and organize. Let me help you add structure – and stick to it.
If you’re not sure how to make time to do this, I can help.
Your prisoners… I mean employees…will thank you.
Make some room,