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Why Chaos Is Good For Your Business - and how to deal with it

By

Maripili Menchaca

|

August 15, 2019

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Have you ever considered bringing chaos into your business? Probably not -- that sounds crazy after all." However, it’s surprisingly relevant to good business practices, and applying it to a work setting can yield some interesting and positive results.  

Chaos theory essentially states that, despite the apparent disorder and irregularity of the world, there are still identifiable patterns and interconnectedness. 

When applied to business, this suggests that management should place more emphasis on adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurial creativity to cope with a future that is inherently unknowable.  

Any entrepreneur will tell you this: The future is unknown. .

Keep reading to learn more about the following: 

  • What does chaos mean inside a business?
  • What are the good outcomes of this chaos?
  • Can you manage the unknown?
  • How and why would  you create chaos within your business yourself? 

What does chaos mean inside a business? 

I’m sure you remember the feeling of uncertainty that came along with the pandemic. The stress of not knowing how you would cope with the situation. And this is not the ONLY hardship you might face as an entrepreneur. The pandemic has been unprecedented, but how about these: 

  • Someone passing away
  • Someone getting sick
  • Your staff leaving one day to the next
  • The market crashing
  • A natural disaster

There are times in business when things get hectic. Think about those times when you're literally doing 50 things at once and yet you feel like you are getting nowhere. These situations  are clearly more than you can handle, and there will be things that slip through the cracks. Sometimes that's okay.

Sometimes, when you find yourself under a lot of pressure, it becomes easier to decide which tasks require your attention over the other 49 pending projects. That chaos helps you figure out what's important and what's not. It's a good way to set priorities.

While embracing chaos may seem to be the direct opposite of ruthless prioritization, they certainly can work in tandem — the chaos enables you to ruthlessly prioritize.

What are the good outcomes of this chaos?

Everything finds its place.

Prioritization will occur naturally. You're not going to forget to do the most vital tasks, or the things that really make you money and move you forward towards your goals. The stuff that doesn't get done was probably not  that important in the first place. More of a “nice to have”.

Change and increased workflow

When the pace of work gets hectic, things are likely to change. Don’t fear change that comes as a result of the chaos and stress of owning your own company. Doing things differently is going to make you a better business owner.

Incentivise growth 

If you are always working and everything seems fine, there is probably an issue. Maybe it’s time for a new perspective! Chaos can expose the flaws in your business plan and allow you to fine-tune your processes. 

Creativity Finds its way 

When you are under pressure, believe me,  your fight or flight instinct triggers. And this is true for your team too. People start developing strategies, step up with great ideas. You get to find creative solutions as well as you can see how you and your staff rise to the occasion.

How can you manage this disorder?

Believe me, I’ve asked myself that question many times. Now that I’m about to be a mother, it sounds even more crazy. Admittedly, embracing chaos may, at first, keep you up at night. Whenever things are especially frantic at work, part of me says to slow things down, while another part says to keep things going. That interplay can be a bit disconcerting.

However, in the long run things start to work themselves out.

Take a deep breath, and learn to control your stress. You don’t want your team to start freaking out if they sense your unease. 

As an entrepreneur, there’s always going to be some sort of chaos. It’s a good thing. The chaos can remove feelings of safety and predictability, and allow innovation to flow.

How can you create some chaos within your business yourself? 

Every so often, create a little chaos so that you can see what is working, and what is failing, within your business processes.

Let me tell you an entrepreneurial story. 

Last year, one Monday morning I told my team that I was going to be out. I needed them to handle everything for one week without me. I wanted to see where I was needed the most when I was gone, and what broke. 

At the time, I didn’t know I was pregnant, but I found out soon enough. A week away turned into the full first trimester of my pregnancy! I was feeling so sick at the time that I was unable to return to work. Of course, I was still there on the sidelines, providing direction if needed. 

I was so proud to see how my team took charge and found creative solutions to what needed to be done at the time. 

Although it was a bit accidental, the chaos from my unexpected leave allowed us to see what parts of our system worked the best, and which ones didn’t. 

When I came back, my team gave me a report about what happened and how they managed. I was so happy I trusted my team, and so relieved to know that I could count on them now that I’m about to start my new journey as a mother! 

So, let's find out how you can keep your production reliable with the help of chaos.

Creating chaos helps find new issues and take necessary action to correct them. It's a shortcut to discovering  any of your managerial failures or weaknesses. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have your "A" team players ready to go? 

An “A” team player is someone who actively contributes to their group in order to complete tasks, meet goals, or manage projects. “A” team players actively listen to their coworkers, respect new ideas, and aim to improve the product or process at hand.

They want to create solutions as opposed to being part of the problem. 

Having “A” players in your business that are ready for change — and even welcome it — will help you manage and make the most out of your chaos. 

  1. Can you prepare yourself for chaos?

Always be ready, reactive, and prepared.

If you have any questions about how else you can prepare for chaos, and what else you can do to manage it, make sure to follow us on social media. I'll see you in the next blog! 

--

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