When Homemade Isn't Great
Nancy Wu, Head of Client Service
For the past few years, for Halloween, I attempt to make my son’s costume by hand. For someone with no sewing skills, I’m oddly confident wielding a pair of scissors and a glue stick. As long as trick-or-treating is conducted in an orderly manner (i.e., normal walking pace, no wild arm-waving), our costume survives. Here’s the problem though, it's hard to ask a kid not to run and jump, especially after eating all that candy. Thanksgiving is another time when I insist on homemade. Some years the gravy is awesome; other years it’s completely forgotten. The hectic and complicated aspect of the day is part of the fun.
Don’t let your Close process be like my Halloween costume and Thanksgiving dinners: A home grown process that is not robust enough to anticipate and systematically absorb organizational growth and unexpected events. A process like this is typically highly manual, where the staff is burdened with performing transactional or administrative activities by hand. It also tends to be non-transparent. Issues tend to sneak up unexpectedly, and the need to “put out fires” and hold impromptu meetings become part of daily routine.
If you’re making costumes and hosting holiday dinners this year, consider simplifying life at work through automation.