Every morning I get up, take the dog out for a wee, sit on the sofa and write. At night I fold the laundry from the day, put it away in the same places, and load the machine with dirty clothes. I have routines. Around the garden and animals, I also have routines and systems to get done what needs to get done. In my work, I have routines and systems too.
These systems help me get things done AND not to think about it. I don’t need to make decisions each time, I’ve done that once and not follow the routine. They are patterns in my life. We all have them.
Systems can help us become more efficient. Algorithms are all about systems – a series of questions all connected together. Systems can help us reduce decision fatigue as we decide once and implement infinity.
And systems, routines, patterns help create culture. We behaviour in certain ways without thinking. We even call it ‘being programmed’ to behave in a certain way. And yes, systems can work with positive behaviour and negative.
As leaders and change makers, we need to look for the systems and patterns in ourselves, organisations, and industries that drive behaviour. Especially the ones that people no longer think about. And then we can figure out how to change them.