Zombie apocalypse is a shopping mall full of chain stores
We do a lot of tasks here every week:
serve booze, make coffee, clean tea towels, open doors, water gardens, put out menus, clean toilets, order supplies, enter receipts…
Tasks are knowable, recordable and replicable.
Business is made up of thousands of tasks like these, held by various staff who expect to do them. That’s part of their job, to get them done. Finite loops, circles of activity, with beginnings and ends, to be done over and over, as long as the business continues.
Without these systems, a business wouldn’t function. Chain stores embody the systematised business. Each store is a loop, a link in a longer chain that drives repetition and consistency in a predictable way.
But can businesses based just on systems dance up a shit storm?
The hours we spend huddled together planning how to enrich our customers experience; the depths Ash digs to post videos that sit on the edge; the tasting notes Nick writes into our end of day emails to make us laugh; the ‘jooshing’ El does before service to make our corners sparkle.
This ‘other’ work is the blood that pumps oxygen into all the thousands of recordable tasks. It’s the life force of small business. It’s what distinguishes the living from the walking dead.