In Michael Michalowicz’s new book, Clockwork, he challenges you to analyze your company’s time as the first step in designing your business to run itself. In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at his 4D model, which is the model for his time analysis technique. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and can be tremendously impactful for your company if you get can the percentages right.
In every business, there are basically just four ways that the people who work for the business serve the business. Every person in the organization is doing one (or a combination) of the following:
- Doing the work
- Deciding for others about the work
- Delegating the work to others
- Designing the work
The optimal 4D mix is 80% Doing, 2% Deciding, 8% Delegating, and 10% Designing.
The objective of time analysis exercise is to determine where your business stands right now compared to the optimal mix. Once you understand where you are, you can take steps to improve your percentages in each area so they are closer to optimal. When you reach the optimal mix, you are well on your way to having the business be able to run itself.
In the book, Michalowicz goes in-depth on each of the 4Ds. This includes strategies to improve percentages in each. He challenges you to start with a 1% improvement in the Design area … to block out that much time every single week for the next 18 months. The important part is to protect that time like your business depends on it – because it does.
When you start with the 1% baby step and stick to it consistently, you’ll find that you begin to have MORE time to allocate to Design time. It’s the same idea presented in the eMyth, where you should be working ON your business instead of IN your business. Design time is working ON your business.
To tie this concept and approach into our LXCouncil conversations on exit and succession planning, it’s critically important for your business to NOT be dependent on you when you are positioning it for sale or other succession approaches.
Clockwork outlines a wonderful step-by-step plan (with real tools) to help you make your business ultra-efficient and not dependent on your presence. This can either free you to do what you love (and still own the business), or it can set you up to more easily (and profitably) sell your business.
Either case is a win.
As a business owner, succession planning should not be overlooked. Whether you’re in the early phase of the business, or your company is more mature, Clockwork is definitely a recommended read! You can use this link to download the resources for the full company time analysis exercise or to order book, if interested!
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!
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