Sunday, February 11, 2007

Curious about Systems - Do You Have Them in Place for Your Life, Your Career and Your Business?

Once a week, do a thorough review of all your projects in as much detail as you need to. If you do, your systems will work. If you don't, no system will work.” - David Allen, American writer

Yesterday, I hurried home from teaching two fitness classes in order to watch the streaming video of Rich Schefren’s seminar. For two hours this young and incredibly successful businessman shared his ideas about what works and doesn’t work for any business.

He outlined the mistakes entrepreneurs make and gave his suggestions for achieving financial success and business freedom. WOW! It was an excellent awakening for the huge number of us watching the video and those in the live audience.

Schefren stressed the importance of knowing the difference between Systems and Projects. And, the importance of having business Systems in place. This information is what spurred me on to write this week’s blog about Systems. However, when I started gathering quotations, I discovered the wide ranging definitions of a system or systems and the interesting paths they lead us on.


1 : a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole
2 : an organized set of doctrines, ideas, or principles usually intended to explain the arrangement or working of a systematic whole
3 a : an organized or established procedure b : a manner of classifying, symbolizing, or schematizing
4 : harmonious arrangement or pattern
5 : an organized society or social situation regarded as stultifying or oppressive
Synonym : method

Just to peak your interest - there are not only business systems, there are financial systems, health systems, educational systems, social systems, political systems, governmental systems. The list goes on and on.

So, for fun, I am going to include a variety of quotations to spark your thinking and your understanding of systems.
  • There's a certain logic to systems, and that logic is fairly self-evident. It's very straightforward, usually. It might take a little research, it might take a little bit of industry to prize it out, but it's there to be seen.” - Michael Nesmith, American musician
  • Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves.” - Herbert Simon, American scientist
  • I took about a month long trip through Europe in the early part of '69 and realized didn't have my priority systems straight.” - Herb Alpert, American musician
  • We cannot expect that all nations will adopt like systems, for conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” - John F. Kennedy, American President
  • Today, if you look at financial systems around the globe, more than half the population of the world - out of six billion people, more than three billion - do not qualify to take out a loan from a bank. This is a shame.” - Muhammad Yunus, Economist

And a few more:

  • Transnational, gigantic industrial companies no longer operate within political systems, but rather above them.” - Georg Henrik von Wright, Finnish philosopher
  • There's no reason that we should give up that lever on people's behavior - namely, the inhibition systems of the brain - just because we're coming to understand more about the temptation systems.” - Steven Pinker, Canadian scientist
  • I believe that people everywhere develop or are given articulate moral systems and see moral meaning in life.” - Jeane Kirkpatrick, American diplomat
  • We both support systems that are developed based on community solutions rather than federal government mandates.” - Tipper Gore, American celebrity
  • Any system named Dewey was all right with us. We looked forward to hearing about the Huey and Louie decimal systems too.” - Chris Van Allsburg, American author
  • I realized I had accepted a lot of belief systems that were not necessarily mine.” - Jim Hodges, American politician

Here are three to chew on the rest of the week:

  • I don't value authority. I don't value the systems. I don't value patriarchal religion. I don't value the things that diminish you when you do tell the truth. So I'm not scared of the end result, and that is the biggest asset I have.” - Susan Powter, American celebrity
  • Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves.” - Herbert Simon, American scientist
  • We must now view our problems as opportunities - historic opportunities to change the failed systems of the past and do what's right for our future.” - Bob Riley, American politician

Let me know how you feel about the systems in and surrounding your life!