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Bill Gates don’t do people, do systems

I was given this golden rule of thumb a few years ago when meeting business principals.

If we meet in their office and I get the tour, things are good. If we meet at a local cafe, not so much.

It’s a great yardstick, and it works every time. Try it if you have business clients.

People fall out of love for their businesses for several reasons, but I reckon a good 60% or 70% of them relate to what happens when a business gets too far along the growth journey without processes.

What I mean by processes is simply a way of having other people do things you don’t want to without having to train them or keep track of who is doing what manually.

The most common mistake is where I see business owners hire people hoping it will solve the problem.

It doesn’t, and Bill Gates is one of many people who will tell you it only worsens the problem.

Until you’re organised, it’s not recommended.

And when I say organised I mean:

  • You’ve understood the eight departments every practice has, even if you’re not a big business.
  • You can identify the 10-20 core systems that sit underneath each department that will fuel success.
  • You’re able to clearly define the purpose of each and how to drive successful outcomes.

If this sounds like big-firm stuff, it’s not. This is the stuff that enables you to become a big firm.

I recorded a quick video to give you a high-level overview of how it works, but feel free to email me back at if you have questions about a) how to do yours, b) how to involve your team in the process so they own it, or c) how to turn this into a dynamic operations manual/ intranet/ staff training resource.

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