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Systematic Isn't Robotic

Being systematic does not mean being robotic

I had a conversation with a friend the other day and he mentioned that he doesn’t like systems because they are too robotic.  I understand where they are coming from but I disagree that systems are robotic.  Systems simply allow us to take control of all the little things that we want to do, know how to do, but yet, somehow still fail at doing them.  Systems allow us to consistently grow.  

Grade school children learn by the education system in place.  Before there was such an emphasis on education, there was a huge discrepancy from those who are educated and those who are uneducated.  A system was put in place to raise the overall education level of a country.  

Systems are there whether we realize it or not.  Systems are all around us at all times.  We become a product of those systems.  By taking control of the systems we gain control of our future.  By ignoring the systems we leave our future up to the systems that just happen to be there.  

An example of a system that is there whether we address it or not, is how we pack for a trip.  Some people's system is to write out a list of items and review it several times before actually packing to make sure everything important is accounted for.  Others wait until midnight the night before and throw things in a suitcase, hoping to remember everything.  It might seem robotic to make a list, but by doing that it drastically reduces the chance that you forget something.  

The other day I was driving and noticed the many systems that allow us to drive a car.  A problem arose in the early days of automobiles.  They realized that when driving and coming to an intersection, it was dangerous and everyone had their own way to travel through the intersection.  Finally someone addressed the system and created a systematic way to go through intersections.  The stop light is a great system to drastically reduce the chance of getting in a car accident while traveling.  

We never think much about which side of the street to drive on, how to stay in a lane on the highway, or what to do when an ambulance drives by with sirens blaring.  These are all systems that solve a common problem.  We don't learn about the days before stop signs, we simply learn how to follow the systems.

Many seminars are spent discussing what soft skills are important for various aspects of business.  Executive training workshops stress importance of having strong leadership skills.  Yet, developing these skills beyond a one-time discussion takes a systematic approach.  Improving soft skills is only possible by creating or adjusting systems to continually grow those skills.  

Systems can be designed any way that you want.  It isn't about being robotic, it is about gaining control.