3 Not-So-Obvious Business OPERATIONS I Wish I’d Embraced Sooner…

The famous French composer Claude Debussy said “Music is the silence between the notes.”

Years ago, when I first started to think about business operations, I had the idea that they were typically only divided into the front-end and back-end tasks that you and your team believe are a priority and must be performed in order to work towards the company’s objectives. And while H/R, Customer Service, Equipment Maintenance, Sales, and Administration-type operations will more than likely be on your list of priorities to discuss and make a plan for improvement, I encourage you to dig deep to define what you are really needing and wanting from your day-to-day business … and it’s operations.

For me, amongst – or should I say between – that includes having more fun, growing better leaders and giving back to our community.


During an annual company-wide satisfaction survey about 15 years ago, our team came to the conclusion that the amount of fun we were having at work simply wasn’t what it used to be.  Regardless of the numerous reasons for this, we agreed that in order to be – as the folks at Zingermans in Ann Arbor like to say – a team that puts the FU in FUn – we decided to create a small team called – The Creative Roots Committee for People Who Don’t Know How to Have Fun Good –  (Fun Good for short) –  to be sure having fun got the attention it deserved.  Once a year, a plan is put together by this committee and its volunteer leader to ensure that events deemed to make working at Creative Roots more fun are discussed, presented, agreed upon and then put into the FUN GOOD operations calendar.   


GREAT businesses are built by GREAT people and that doesn’t mean that you need Harvard graduates on the team to help bring the company’s Vision to fruition. What it does mean is that if the company wants to continually improve, then so do its people. While I do subscribe to the concept of hiring “Rock Stars”, I believe that the image most owners have when it’s time to turn on the recruiting engine is that they will magically appear with a great attitude and a Fender Stratocaster in hand! HERE IS THE DEAL …because we are all looking for the same “Rock Star,” and most only when we are desperate and in need, you may be waiting a long time. So, just in case you don’t find your “Jimmy Hendrix” before you burn out trying, why not take a more proactive and sustainable approach and define what constitutes a Rock Star and then integrate an operational plan –  to help develop that person, YOURSELF included – for your company.


In my view,  a company has certain obligations, one of which is to the community it serves. Make space when planning operations to show that you are grateful for the opportunities you have and are the type of organization that is willing to help and support initiatives in your community.  Not only does your company get noticed and can take advantage of some good and probably well-deserved free publicity at times, it just seems and feels like the right thing to do.  My team loves this initiative and wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Learn more about how Creative Roots is doing just that:

Creative Roots Landscaping – Give Back  

Some steps to help your operations.

An important part of the operational improvement process is being able to identify all of the pieces that need to exist within the organization to achieve. Think of it like creating a great team and every play, role, rule, personal attribute, etc that’s needed to go into making that happen.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Include your ENTIRE team when planning. Let the people who are most affected by the “operations” have a say in them.  

First – Identify what operational improvement is important to the company. If it’s more fun you want then it’s time to work on having more fun. 

Next – Dissect that particular operation into action items like a company year-end dinner party, a spring orientation day, a summer team BBQ at the lake etc. Work out such details such as when, where, how often, budget and call each one of these items an event.

Then – Populate the operations calendar with the agreed-upon events and create a scoreboard that shows the Planned, Forecasted and Actual events done to-date so your team can follow the action and adjust behaviours when off track. 

Finally -. Work the review of this scoreboard into your company’s Huddles so it is one of those well-intentioned items that become out of sight out of mind.  Remember what gets measured gets done. People for the most part love to be part of a plan – THEIR plan! 

About Me

Over the last 26 years, I have been fascinated by business and all it has to offer to improve the lives of the people it touches. From working on the shovel, business visioning and everything in between, to now being able to share my experiences through personalized coaching services, my goal is to help other owners work on their business, increase profits, have more time for themselves, and find enjoyment in the process along the way.

Need Someone To Talk To?

What’s your biggest pain point? Let’s connect to discuss how having me coach you through implementing Open Book Management can change your business for the better. 

To schedule a time to chat with me, visit https://rmark.ca/contact/