Our People First Business Strategy Map is similar to the Balanced Scoreboard, in that we examine processes and measure financial outcomes. However, our Strategy Map emphasizes the integration of the best business systems with the best human systems. We acknowledge the critical ways in which the business systems impact the human systems and vice-versa; we stress the importance of how each influences and balances the other.

A company that has tremendous human systems in place but no solid business systems will not excel. There must be integration and interdependence in order to achieve sustainable success. And again, we must prudently establish objectives and measures around our systems in order to measure how successfully we are integrating our processes.

Jim Collins has said you must get the right people on the bus and put them in the right seats. You may have a superb sales system, for example, but if the person who is working within that system isn’t a solid sales professional—if he or she doesn’t like prospecting, doesn’t ask probing questions, doesn’t listen well, and/or is afraid to ask for the order—your sales system won’t succeed. Conversely, you might have a very engaging, aggressive individual who writes a ton of business, but the fulfillment system is defective; orders are delivered late or completed incorrectly. That sales person is handcuffed by a faulty system.

Labor to integrate the best business systems and the best human systems; then make sure to place the right people in those systems. As you set objectives for this integration and establish measures for it, people come to understand systemic thinking. You create process maps that enable people to actually see that your systems—upstream processes, downstream processes, and cross-stream processes—are integrated and interrelated.

How am I connected to the organization’s values and mission? That’s a system. How do my daily responsibilities contribute to the overall vision of the company? That’s a system. How do our programs for employee growth and well-being integrate with our systems for maximizing the external customer experience? When you are asking those kinds of questions, you are thinking systemically. You are seeking out interconnection and interdependence.

The ultimate connection, of course, is an understanding of how our systems function to meet and exceed the needs of our customers. Business is about acquiring customers, keeping those customers, and deepening trust-based relationships with those customers. Everyone in our organization must clearly understand how their job directly adds value to these three critical components of success.