Home » Blog » SYSTEMology Book of the month March 2021

By David Jenyns

Create time, reduce errors and scale your profits with proven business systems. 

I knew that this book was going to qualify for my ‘Book of the Month review’ before I had even finished reading it, because I had already recommended it to 4 of my clients, all of them entrepreneurs who are building highly purposeful, profitable businesses. 3 of these 4 clients ordered the book whilst I was telling them about it on the phone. 

‘SYSTEMology’ is a system for creating systems!
Simple, profound and beautiful!

One client called me the day after reading SYSTEMology saying she had stayed up all night reading the book because she just ‘could not put it down!’ She said that she had made loads of notes of system tweaks and changes she now realises that she needs to implement in her business!  

An entrepreneur I have watched create 2 multi-million-dollar businesses over the last 15 years, who has read many of my book recommendations in that time, said to me only yesterday…  
“This is one of your best book recommendations ever! I can’t wait to start implementing ‘SYSTEMology’ into my business!”
These are the types of responses by which I measure the books I recommend!

Here is a key question posed by the author, to ask yourself …
“If you were offered the opportunity of a lifetime that required that you immediately take 3 months out from your business – could you do it?” Would your business thrive, survive or crash without you being there?

This may seem like a hypothetical scenario, but it actually happened to the author David Jenyns for real! 

And when it did, because he had built his business by applying his concept ‘SYSTEMology’ he was able to immediately say ‘Yes!’ to this once in a lifetime opportunity and for the following 3 months the business he had founded carried on thriving without him at the helm.

Does your business have the systems in place to be able to thrive without you being around for 3 months?

The E-Myth
8 years ago, in my ‘Book of The Month’ review I recommended a prolific International bestselling book called ‘The E Myth’ by Michael Gerber. I know from feedback over the years that many of my clients and ‘Book of the Month’ subscribers consider it to be the greatest ‘business systems’ book ever written! Many of my clients have used the wisdom in the E-Myth to systemise and take their businesses to levels far beyond their originally perceived potential.

When recommending this book to one entrepreneur who was familiar with the E-Myth, he playfully asked me to summarise the book in one sentence. My equally playful response was ….

“SYSTEMology is the E-Myth on steroids!”

When you consider what a masterpiece ‘The E-Myth’ is, this is really saying something. 
Synchronously, there is a magical opening to this book (which I do not wish to give away) which involves the author of the book the E-myth Michael Gerber who writes a wonderful foreword for this book. 

Simple AND Genius
Like any great system, the book itself is simple to read and understand yet profoundly effective (proof of the pudding). I really like the author’s quote about system building; “Simple does not mean easy!”  
The purpose of ‘SYSTEMology’ in a sentence is to build highly effective business systems that are simple to use that create time, reduce errors and scales profits!

Sometimes when reading a book, you come across a single almost innocuous sentence that confirms the author’s level of genius in his chosen field…
“It’s a bit meta – having a system that outlines the system for documenting systems – but successfully wrap your head around this now and everything after this will run just that little bit smoother.”  

A business leader who demonstrates an understanding of the critical importance of highly effective systems to the extent David Jenyns does is unusual. Even fewer business leaders I have encountered understand the importance of ‘a system for building systems’, however, these few are the most successful, least stressed and most fulfilled business leaders I know.

To use the author’s own words ‘SYSTEMology’ is itself ‘a bit meta’, because it is a system that enables you to build highly effective systems throughout your business. 
‘SYSTEMology’ can be applied to building systems in every department of your business from finance, operations, people management, marketing, sales etc. starting where your business currently has the most friction.

Some of the key benefits of more effectively systemising your business include:
1- A business that will run without you! Where your business has less reliance on any one individual (including yourself). This also enables team members to be absent without impacting your business including more flexible working hours and longer vacations. 
2- Team member clarity about roles, responsibilities, priorities and how to measure success.
3- Effective systems reduce errors across the business.
4- Rapid and seamless scaling.
5- Highly effective team on-boarding and training.
6-Businesses that have a culture of systems building are less stressful to work in, whilst enabling higher more consistent performance levels.  
7-Well documented systems (and all of the above) make your business much more valuable and ‘sellable’.

The 7 Stages of SYSTEMology that are fully explained in the book are:

Define is about identifying which are the key systems in your business. 

Once you have identified your priority systems, you need to assign the creation of each system to the appropriate person / a systems champion. Interestingly, the author suggests that rarely is the business founder the best person to create a system. 

‘Extract’ is about capturing the knowledge from your team. The author explains some simple and practical approaches that will save you a lot of guess work.

STAGE FOUR: Organise
I must credit the author with 2 particular priceless distinctions about organising your business systems:

  1. Software is NOT the ‘holy grail’ to business systemisation.  
  2. It is critical to separate your systems documentation from your project management. 

For any successful business team in today’s world, systems documentation and project management software are equally essential, however, I have witnessed several business teams get into all kinds of difficulties by muddling the two.

STAGE FIVE: Integrate 
‘Integrate’ is about getting the team to follow the new and upgraded systems that you have organised. Most types of change in a business including systems changes can meet resistance from team members. The author talks about the persistent mindset that is needed to integrate (see below).

‘Scale’ is about the key systems of your business that most determine how rapidly you can effectively scale. Some of the key pointers 

  • The secret to scaling is directly tied to your capacity to deliver.
  • A solid recruitment and onboarding process will ensure that you attract superstar systems thinkers who are an essential ingredient of scaling.
  • You need to have worked through SYSTEMology stages 1 to 5 and have documented your ‘Core Systems’ before you can effectively scale.  
  • You know your business is highly scalable when you are able to send any given team member on a 4-week holiday without impacting the performance of your business.

STAGE SEVEN: Optimise 
‘Optimise’ is about optimising all your business systems to achieve ongoing performance improvement.
One essential element of optimising is creating a dashboard of key business performance metrics.

Mindset, Attitude and Cultural Blocks to Effective Systemisation 
In terms of ‘mindset’, when systemising your business, the author is very clear about the fact that you will find people are often resistant to changes so ensuring that you and your team have the optimum mindset and culture to embrace system changes is key.

As someone who does a lot of mindset and values work with entrepreneurs and business leaders, I love the fact that the author covers some of the important ‘mindset’ and ‘values’ elements that are essential if you are going to effectively systemise your business to take it to the next level.

The author believes that ‘systems building’ needs to be part of the values and team culture of a well systemised business.  It is not just about a business team saying ‘we have a high value on building systems’, it is about them demonstrating it.  On boarding, training and job role responsibility descriptions and people management should all clearly include and convey that your business has a high value on ‘creating systems’ and WHY this is important to each team member as well as the business.

The author demonstrates in the story of his own journey that, first of all you must be humble in recognising your own shortcomings. This recognition of your own shortcomings is absolutely essential to overcoming the mindset blocks necessary to enable you to create a ‘highly effectively systemised business’. 

Some of the typical business leadership / entrepreneurial shortcomings highlighted by the author are:

  • Business leaders who are constantly ‘micro-managing’ and are either unaware of or in denial that they are doing it.
  • Business leaders that constantly have creative ideas can often distract team members from focusing on their agreed priorities.
  • Business leaders who believe that they must create the businesses systems themselves. The reality is that they are often the worst choice!
  • Business leaders who think that they are the best person to do a variety of roles within the business. 
  • Business leaders who like ‘micromanaging’ or doing tasks themselves because they don’t believe they have the time to teach someone else (they don’t have a system) and most commonly ‘they do not wish to relinquish control’ / ‘let go’!

David Jenyns fittingly makes a point of speaking from personal experience about getting ‘over obsessed’ with systems when he says ‘You don’t need a system for absolutely everything’.  Needless to say most of the businesses I have encountered over the years are ‘under systemised’ rather than ‘over systemised’!

David Jenyns identifies 7 SYSTEMS MYTHS that he busts to help you create the optimum mindset for systemising your business:

In line with each of the 7 stages of ‘SYSTEMology’, Jenyns identifies 7 gigantic myths that he has encountered that are effectively ‘mental or strategic roadblocks’ to many business leaders in systemising their businesses.  

Myth #1 You will need to create hundreds of systems to systemise a business. This myth is busted in the first stage of ‘SYSTEMology’, ‘Define’. 

Myth #2 The business owner is the only one who can create the systems. This myth was busted in the second stage of ‘SYSTEMology’, ‘Assign’. 

Myth #3 Creating systems is time-consuming. This myth was busted in the third stage of ‘SYSTEMology’ ‘Extract’

Myth #4 You need to invest in expensive and complex software. This myth was busted in the fourth stage of ‘SYSTEMology’, ‘Organise’. 

Myth #5 Even if you have systems in place, your team won’t follow them. This myth was busted in the fifth stage of ‘SYSTEMology’, Integrate. 

Myth #6 Systemisation destroys creativity. This myth was busted in the sixth stage of ‘SYSTEMology’, ‘Scale’. 

Myth #7 You need to systemise like McDonald’s.  
This myth was busted in the seventh stage of ‘SYSTEMology’, ‘Optimise’.  

If you do not currently have a system for building highly effective systems in your business then SYSTEMology is an absolute MUST read!

You can find more details about this book and a wealth of free resources on …  

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