Tamara Simon's Weekly Blog
Business Insights for RTOs
from my favourite Movies, TV Shows and Books
(and some other bits and pieces)

Work The Problem People!

Gene Kranz

Let’s work the problem people.  Let’s not make things worse by guessing.

I don’t care about what anything was designed to do, I care about what it can do.

As a Problem Solver, this is one of my favourite quotes because of its simplicity and accuracy.

How often do you create more problems because you’re guessing about your financial numbers or what you’re staff are doing or thinking; rather than working the actual problem?

Questions give information so please use them more than the preferred option of Assumptions.

Systems Lesson

Ken Mattingly

Well, that’s all in the sequences.

If we can skip whatever we don’t absolutely need, and turn things on in the right order…. Maybe.

Give me the exact same conditions they’ve got in there now and I need the present status of every instrument.

Don’t give me anything they don’t have on board.

I believe there’s a system in everything, you just have to find it… which is exactly what Ken had to do so he developed a solution which worked and solved the actual problem the astronauts were facing.

But what it also shows it that we often complicate things for ourselves, our staff and our students by putting in too many steps to achieve even the simplest tasks. 

And we do this because generally there’s no time to really take a step back to see if this is the quickest, easiest and best way to do a process – for both staff and students.  So instead, the task is just DONE.. probably not well and certainly not integrated into your other processes – the objective is just get it done so you can move onto the next one.

But the price you pay for this is HUGE including loss of time and money as things take too long, aren’t being done correctly and if it seems to hard, people won’t complete the task which can mean loss of sales (students) and morale, frustration and performance management issues (staff).

So when did you last truly take a step back to look at even one process eg enrolments to see how the task is actually being done, from start to finish, to see if there’s duplication, unnecessary steps and ways to simplify and streamline it… for both staff and students?

And it doesn’t have to take days.  I worked with one RTO and in 2 hours, I created an enrolment system and process that worked, made sense and saved over 3 hours of administration time per student.

How?  With just post it notes, I showed them the duplication and unnecessary steps which meant the enrolment process went from 25 steps to 8.

Result:  The RTO now had clarity, peace and mind and reduced frustration as a result of this now simple process and a productivity saving of $5500.

So imagine what savings you could get if you did this on eg deferrals, withdrawals, progressions and completions; let alone all the other procedures you have within your RTO?

What’s Next?

Gene Kranz

Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity and neglect.

There’s 3 key words in this quote and you need to ensure you’re not complacent in any of them.

Carelessness               Happens due to lack of documented systems and training initially rather than poor performance.

Incapacity                   Again relates to lack of documented procedures and subsequent training relevant to the knowledge, skills and experience needed to undertake a role rather than maybe assuming you have a square peg in a round hole.

Neglect                       This often happens by default because you get too busy doing rather than stopping to take a breath and take stock to make sure you’re on track, which is why one of my RTO Business Pigs in my book is the Rundown Business Pig.

And here’s my final thought:

Jack Swigert

And what if they made a mistake and there was no way to correct it, why would they tell us?

There’s no reason to tell us!

Communication is one of the keys for business and team success, yet we undervalue it.

So when people make mistakes (which they will), what’s your process for rectification?

Do you let them know what they’ve done and why so they can learn from it, or do you fix it yourself so they never know and can never learn which means it will happen again?

Unless we know what’s not working, we can’t fix it or improve; and if we only ever hear bad news, it’s very hard to maintain momentum and inspiration.

So are you keeping your students and staff updated when things go wrong, or is it all quiet on the comms channel?

Want some help from Tamara – Australia’s Only Dedicated RTO Business Coach?

If you would like some help to turn your RTO ideas into profitable solutions by implementing simple systems, please check out my coaching services on my website


Or contact me direct:

0438 262 727 or tamara@takeanotherlook.com.au

Next Week:       Summary Lessons from Apollo 13