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  • Donna Lim

Plug the holes...Balance the Boat...then Accelerate

Note from Donna…My journey in Clockworking the business started in January 2019. We had some momentum, and the team was enjoying the implementation. What happened next really threw me for a loop, my manager and then the rest of the team simply got out of my boat. They were all still here, but they were not engaged and my Clockworking boat sunk. Things did not get better as the Pandemic hit and my team continued to disengage right at a time our clients needed us the most. What was the answer to my dilemma – Clockworking – of course! Balancing the team. I decided I had to replace my manager. I’m glad I did because Cheri Bayless is one heck of a quarterback (as my husband calls her). It took awhile and there were lots of storms to sail through, but we are finally at a balanced team that loves being here. Everyone is on my boat.

We have already talked about phases 1 and 2 of the Clockworking method. You can find them on our blog at To remind you all, the 3 phases are:

1. Align

2. Integrate

3. Accelerate

I think we all come to the Clockworking table in different phases. I found that I needed to do one of the Accelerate steps before moving forward with Integrate. You might find yourself on a different journey. The main thing to remember is that we need to get through all the steps before we can step away for that 4-week vacation.

Balance the Team

The first concept to master here is that everyone needs to be on your boat, rowing the same direction. Do you have some hard decisions to make? Is there someone on the team that needs to be released? I can personally attest to – it doesn’t work if there is a bad apple in the bunch. Whoever that person is on your team is not a bad person rather they are just in the wrong position and/or company. Do both of yourselves a favor and have that difficult conversation.

The second concept to master is that the traditional hierarchy job description doesn’t work for Clockworks. Your team members have many other talents than they’ve been hired for. Let them do their genius for you. An example in my company is Bretney. She is a fantastic Accountant III. She also has an amazing ability to glide through technology. She’s in charge of our phone system. She has a creative side and is the one responsible for our blog and social media postings. She’s way better at those things than I am. Let her be in her genius. When employees get to do things they like, they become happier and more loyal to your company. They can become crew mates for life😊.

Find and Fix the Bottlenecks

Clockworking is a continuous process in improvement system. Anytime we are doing the 4 T’s – Trash, Transfer, Trim and Treasure – you can find bottlenecks in the system. Transferring a task from one person to another may help get your team in balance, but it can also cause bottlenecks. Solving these bottlenecks is key to moving forward.

Take the 4-week Vacation

The ultimate goal is for the owner or any team member for that matter to take a 4-week vacation without disruption to the business. Clockworking is a process, and you don’t just jump into the 4-week vacation with out some trial runs.

Easy as you go – Do a 4 D analysis. Decide what you can Trash, Transfer, and Trim. Capture your systems and train team members on the various items that you kept on your desk. Now, take a 1 week break from the company. Wash, rinse, and repeat – take a 2 week break from the company. Do this each quarter until you are at a 4-week vacation.

There’s so much more I could cover about this fabulous book, but I think I’ll save some of the good stuff for you to discover.

Happy Clockworking😊


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