"Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing... layout, processes, and procedures."
--- Tom Peters
It is impossible to find any successful business that does not have processes in place. Even Zappos, the now famous online shoe store has processes. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos considers himself a seat-of-the-pants kind of guy, working on gut instinct and what feels right. Even Hsieh has put in processes for his 3,500 plus employees to follow. A lot of them involve employee input, as they should, but they still are to be followed in order to have some inkling of success.
Putting processes in place does not have to limit creativity or freedom to make mistakes, they actually help to instill buffers so that the mistakes made won't be too costly or do too much damage that cannot be fixed.
"The possessors of wealth can scarcely be indifferent to processes which, nearly or remotely have been the fertile source of their possessions."
--- Charles Babbage
When we put in place the right paths to follow, and we truly believe them to be the right paths, our next task is to get everyone else on board into adopting and believing that these processes are created for the best of everyone involved in the organization. It is a process that takes time, but once instituted can be built upon and amended for even further success.
"The system is that there is no system. That doesn't mean we don't have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that's not what it's about. Process makes you more efficient."
--- Steve Jobs
Relying on a process only, is dangerous. The process is just a way to the goals that are set. The process is a very important ingredient, but it is one designed by you and the other leaders in your company, which means they will have flaws, they will and should be changed, and they will have to be sold to other team members. Convincing everyone involved that the processes are foundational for the growth and strength of the business is probably the most difficult task surrounding processes.
"The processes of teaching the child that everything cannot be as he wills it are apt to be painful both to him and to his teacher."
--- Anne Sullivan Macy
If your business needs processes, but the leadership has been reluctant to provide them, stop everything now and begin designing processes for at least four major steps in your business. You can begin with the sales process since that is how the money comes in the door. Begin developing four processes that your sales people can start implementing now. Put them to paper and be sure to get input from other team members.
"A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships."
--- Stephen Covey
Of course, no process can be sold until there is a good line of communication established and that cannot be established until there is a good, solid relationship between you and the other team members. Let's remember to put the horse before the cart when trying to integrate good workable processes.
Wayfinding: Following the signs along the way
By Louis M. Brill
SignIndustry.com connected with fd2s and 22MILES, two companies specializing in wayfinding and the art of getting from here to there in a safe, practical way. Take a look to see if you can get there from here.
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Screen Printing UV Special Effects - Thick Deposit Graphics and Textures
By Laura Maybaum
This article provides a processing guide for addressing printing thick deposit effects to simulate textures or add 3-D structure to the print surface from creation of the artwork to pre-press to printing and finishing. Doing your homework can make a big difference in effectively overcoming the obstacles to successfully (and profitably) printing these effects.
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Advertiser - ISA's International Sign Expo
As seen near the tracks of the Newcastle Tramway Authority:
"Touching Wires Causes Instant Death. $200 Fine"
In a loan company window:
"Now you can borrow enough money to get completely out of debt"
In a New York drugstore:
"We dispense with accuracy!"
We know those funny signs are out there. Take a moment and send them in to us and we'll share them with the world. Send all hysterical observations to: email@example.com.