Are You Adopting or Adapting? 2 Quick Tips to Successfully Adopt New Ways of Working


When we think of the “systems” that run our business, we often think “software.” But we’re wrong. A system is not the same thing as software. According to (what has been called) the bible for entrepreneurs (The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber), a system is simply a “way of doing things.” So, when you woke this morning and went through your normal routine -shower, breakfast, commute- you followed a system, well-worn habits, channeled by deep grooves of repetition. Your system is what you follow, most times mindlessly. And just like your morning routine, you follow a system for managing the various aspects of your business. Your system could be the way you process orders with suppliers, or the way you pay bills or run reports.When it comes to software, many who adopt a new software program to help run their business often end up trying to fit new software into their old system.But most of our old systems are not necessarily a better way of working. Charles Duhigg describes this in his book (The Power of Habit), “most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits.”The problem with trying to adapt old systems (processes) with new software is that you are often trying to fit a new, sleek, and progressive engine, into an old model, a framework that wasn’t built to support it because the old framework is too slow or redundant. When adopting new software -any kind of software- for your business, here are a few tips to make the adoption process stick: 

Tip #1 Quick-Map Your System

 Draw a quick sketch of your current system (your way of doing things) and compare it to the new and improved system (the way the new system is designed to do things).This can be done on notepad quite quickly, draw a diagram of your current system, your current method for handling the tasks associated with the software (maybe that's processing orders or reporting). This is a helpful exercise so that you can easily recall your current process and note the redundancies (like duplicate tasks) that can be replaced.Now, draw the new process with the new software and note the differences. An example: Your old “system” for proofing might be multiple emailed proofs back and forth with the client. But your new software might create a new system for you to follow, reducing the number of emailed proofs and simplifying the proofing process into a few clickable transactions. Reporting is another example. Your old reports were part of your old system that were likely created because of your old software. But your new software features new and improved options that simplify your old system. You might even discover, that with the new system, some of your old reports are not critical and no longer necessary. 

Tip #2 Design Clear Outcomes

 Just as in any personal endeavor, like losing weight or taking on a new hobby, new steps, new “systems,” are adopted in order to succeed, but, while adjusting to the change, what keeps you excited is the outcome: imagining “what will be” makes the change in behaviour, easier.Designing clear outcomes is about activating the imagination, inspiring those to consider that the newness (sometimes the awkwardness) of adopting “system changes,” will be short-lived and, before long, new habits will be formed that follow a much better system. Leaders who affect change in an organization, excel at helping their team think through a better way of doing business, they help their teams envision the outcome, they help them understand that the new steps that involve faster processes and stress-free communication means more time to focus on the fun mission-critical work (like coming up with new ideas for clients instead of getting bogged down into old processes that prevent proactive work).Or, maybe you’re a solopreneur, and you need the inspiration to adopt new ways of working. Our advice? Dream big! commonsku users have claimed they have saved as much as 10 hours per week once they started using the new software and the new system. What will you do with all that free time, once you learn the new way of working? Write down those things you will do, once you’re free, and keep it in front of you for inspiration. Changing the way you work will ultimately change the trajectory of your entire business!For new commonsku users, the system that is being followed via the software has been adopted and proven effective through over $475 million in orders processed, the new methodology for running your business has been thoroughly vetted and proven efficient by many successful distributors.Rather than adapting your new software to your old, outdated system, you must adopt new ways of processing, as many distributors before you have, to reap the full benefits of the software.Effective system changes within an organization require not adapting the old ways with the new (square peg, round hole), but adopting an entirely new and fresh way of processing that will bring order from chaos, infuse your team with new energy, and create a simplified work-life.
commonsku is cloud-based promotional products software to modernize your business. We give you the best tools to run your business from presentation through to invoicing and everything in between. To learn more or try it for free, visit