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SWS #03: 3 big businesses that ROCK at process

There aren’t that many big businesses that are truly great at systemizing processes.

Some are definitely great in some areas of their business, but if you look deeper you’ll find it’s very patchy!

But there are some that do it really well, and thrive as a result.

The classic example is McDonalds.

When Ray Kroc got his first burger, he couldn’t believe it was actually his — he’d only just paid, how could it be in his hands so quickly?

The secret was in how Richard and Maurice McDonald had designed the restaurant. Everything was streamlined so employees could deliver the same quality burger, every time, at incredible speed.

Ray ended up purchasing the business, with McDonalds growing to a staggering 36,000 outlets that all produce the same quality of burger, in exactly the same way.

You might not have heard of Bridgewater Associates.

They’re the world’s largest hedge fund, thanks to the leadership of Ray Dalio.

In his groundbreaking book, Principles, Ray describes the journey that took his business and personal wealth to staggering levels. 

What Ray would do is look to understand why some investment decisions worked well, while others did not. When he identified a rule that would lead to better results, he systemized it.

By repeating this trick again and again — and then teaching his entire organization to do the same, he gave Bridgewater a huge advantage over the competition.

My third example is from the tech space: GitLab

GitLab provides software that other software teams can use to manage their code.

They’ve created an exceptional product, and have grown to a valuation of $6bn in under 10 years.

They’ve also created exceptional processes for an organization of this scale, and they’ve done it in public (!). If you visit you’ll find detailed processes for every area of the business.

This has been credited as a big part of their success. By making process such a core part of the way they worked, they were able to scale at incredible speed, and every business function was able to benefit from this drive.

What I love about these 3 businesses, is how great process touches everything they do.

This isn’t normal. I worked for years as a management consultant working with big names in tech, pharmaceuticals, government, infrastructure, and many other areas. 

And to be honest… most of the teams were really bad at this!
And it was costing them a huge amount. 
And it was causing a huge amount of stress.

Their businesses were robust enough to tolerate this. But there was potential for so much more.

In my own businesses, we’ve been working hard to make sure that great process can be scaled itself. 

And we’ve built this approach into our product and services at AirManual.

Using it, we hope you can replicate the success of McDonalds, GitLab, and BridgeWater Associates.

Or at least take a big step in the right direction 💪