Just like how a computer’s operating system manages the resources and communication between components in the computer, a business operating system (BOS) controls the processes and operation of a business. Unfortunately, this is something many businesses lack.
An operating system brings order, clarity, and efficiency to the chaos often associated with running a business. It does this by defining background processes, such as hiring, production, sales, communication, finance, etc., and the resources required to let them operate maximally.
The goal of a BOS is to generate superior results and having one proves valuable to any company. Let’s take a look at what a business operating system means and how to create and implement one.
What Does It Mean?
An operating system details a company’s mode of operation at the highest level. This includes the way it plans, communicates, executes, and creates its unique culture. It’s a framework that drives the entire business like an umbrella that covers everything underneath.
An operating system makes it easy to set the vision, then execute, communicate and report on results more effectively. But beyond that, it’s a discipline that helps to define the cadence you are operating on. In summary, a company’s operating system governs how it communicates, hires, and makes decisions that help it move faster towards set objectives.
Why Does Your Company Need An Operating System?
If you hope to bring some of the chaos in business under control, an operating system will help you set the vision, outline strategy, communicate, execute, and track it. With an operating system, you can better use your time and resources towards achieving the company’s goals. Every company needs one, and here are the signs that indicate you should start thinking of one:
- If you are losing control of the business
- When your business is stuck i.e. you are not making much progress or consistently dealing with the same problems.
- When following through on initiatives is more complex than it should be
- Finding it difficult to create a culture of accountability.
- Having high employee turnover or poor employee engagement. Staff feels frustrated because they can’t see a clear vision, precise goals, strategies, and direction for the company.
- Consistent missed deadlines and blown budgets.
- Metrics that are not consistent. One metric is measured and at other times, another unrelated metric is measured or different departments measuring success differently.
- Constantly moving from one crisis to another, without ever working out a formula or strategic plan.
With an operating system, you get clear on purpose, ensuring everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction. By implementing the right operating system and maintaining it, you can transform your business.
How To Create and Implement Your Operating System
To begin creating your operating system, you will first have to define, decide, document the following things.
- What your vision, values, and culture are
- How decisions will be made as teams work together
- What to communicate, when and how to do it, and to whom
- When, how, and where you will meet
- How to maintain a goal-setting framework
- How to measure and report on the company’s performance
- What individuals and teams will be tracked and measured upon
- How performances will be rewarded, is it by promotions, financial, etc
These are mostly the things that need to be ironed out to ensure the smooth operation of your business. Of course, keep in mind that when you are setting out the first time to create your operating system, you won’t have it be perfect, but it should begin to work for you right from the get-go.
What To Expect From Your Business Operating System
An operating system creates a template for how your business should be run and provides a structure that spans the entire organization and staff. As you set out and begin to consistently apply it, this will ensure every facet of the business is operating to its fullest potential.
Some people think that having an operating system might be too prescriptive, which stifles creativity and innovation. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. By bringing a sense of consistency and structure into your company, people are in a better mental space to give their best work. An operating system ensures everyone is on the same page and working closely towards common goals.