October 1, 2018

Business Policies and Procedures: It’s All About Perspective

When do business policies and procedures fail in providing effective and efficient solutions? It’s a question I pondered recently when I received a package from Amazon.

The first time I received a photo of an Amazon delivered package on my doorstep to show proof of delivery, I was impressed. I thought it was definitely “outside the box” thinking (yes, pun intended). It was also a simply elegant solution to a common issue regarding deliveries.

However, poor execution can sometimes derail an elegant solution. Below is a proof of delivery photo that I received for another recent Amazon package. The “Tell us what you think about this photo” link under the picture contributed to my desire to share.

What’s Missing in Your Business Policies and Procedures?

What’s missing in the photo above (and what could very well be missing in your business policies and procedures) is any perspective. In this close up photo of the label, you cannot see where the photo was taken or where the package was placed. The photo could have been taken in the next state over for all I could tell. As it were, the photo was taken where the package was delivered … with one of my neighbors, who was kind enough to bring it over to me. I am just glad that I did not have to go out in search of the package “well armed” with this photo.

But, this picture did “bring home” to me (yes, another intended pun) several important points.  First, if you are not provided adequate perspective, you are going to be quite challenged in solving your problems. Second, if your employees are not aware of the purpose of your business policies and procedures, they may be ineffective in implementing or maintaining those policies or procedures. Third, given that our house is hard to find and perhaps the delivery person did not want to document that they delivered to the wrong home, this potentially was an example of an employee attempting to circumvent controls.

The bottom line is that sufficient perspective, the sharing of the purpose of your business policies and procedures, and set rules to keep folks from circumventing those policies and procedures will help keep any elegant solution effective.

About Inglewood Associates

Since 1983, Inglewood Associates has been delivering valuable business acumen to assist clients with a wide range of business challenges. Inglewood principals bring their wide-ranging experiences as interim and full-time CEOs, CFOs and Chairmen of the Board to assist clients with effective solutions for their needs and circumstances. Inglewood Associates specializes in business performance advisory, business turnarounds, interim management, M&A due diligence, expert witness and project management.