Skip to content

Who or What Is Your Next B.O.S.S.—Business Operating System Strategy™

As explained in the last article, Deming and Drucker were instrumental in taking manufacturing from individual craftsmanship to modern automated production at volume with repeatable quality in all aspects of dimensions, performance, and characteristics. They were advocates of eliminating waste and continuous improvement. They even went so far as to develop similar processes and attitudes in administrative functions. As good as the Quality Management Systems they developed are, they don’t tell the whole story of what it takes to run a manufacturing business, let alone a services or e-commerce business.

Today’s business world is much more complicated with more rules to follow for people that can prevent optimizing production and eliminating waste. For instance, overtime rules, family medical leave, documentation of performance, harassment and many more rules, just in the human resources area, can negate much of what is planned with a Quality Management System. Cybersecurity risks force us to take more time looking at an email to decide if we should do something with it immediately, or take more time to contact someone to determine if it is legitimate. Waste is creeping into our systems. Even if we had the most efficient production and quality systems possible, without a customer willing to pay for the product, the business will go bankrupt. Therefore, we need more than a Quality Management System. We need a new boss. We need a

B.O.S.S.—Business Operating System Strategy™.

We suggest defining a B.O.S.S.—Business Operating System Strategy™ as the interconnected, symbiotic total of all plans and processes in a company including strategy, marketing, sales, product development, production, finance, supply chain, purchasing, human resources, culture, legal, ethics, cybersecurity, information technology, privacy, leadership, project management, and more. The Malcolm Baldrige Award1 was initiated by Congress in 1987 and is the nation’s only Presidential award for performance excellence in business. Below is a picture of the framework.


It is a good start at understanding the many interconnections and the needed symbiotic integration of all the parts into a well-functioning whole.

Another example to consider is the Danaher Business System (DBS)2,3,4. It’s built on their culture and, visually, is built on their logo.

Danaher_Corporation_logo Danaher Business System

Culture is an integral part of the overall business processes. We hear it is better to hire for culture and then train for the process or task. That is easy to understand. Do you remember how committed to doing something well you were when, as a child, you did it just because one of your parents told you to? You had no buy in, no enjoyment, and did the least you could get away with. The same is true in any company. The best Quality Management System can be undercut by a leader that has not bought in to the process or the culture and has an attitude of it’s just something to be done to please auditors.

That’s why all of the processes and plans in a business must be congruent. Innovation can be undercut by IT departments that force processes upon people. Commitment to getting the job done can be undermined by accounting practices that are niggly. Teamwork is thrown out the window when people “throw each other under the bus.”

Survival Rate Over Time chart-1-average-company-lifespan-on-sp500

Too many businesses, large and small, fail. Few small businesses and startups make it past 10 years. Companies only last 15 years in the S&P 500 now. There has to be a better way with less impact to the lives of hundreds and thousands of people. have you heard that people don’t leave companies, they leave a boss?

Let’s get a new

B.O.S.S.—Business Operating System Strategy™.

Want to learn more and take your business “up a notch?” Contact either of us.

Debra Mervyn, The Mervyn Group,  

Paul Menig, Business Accelerants,