Model of Efficiency

Paul Messino - Monday, April 16, 2012

We've all seen the Duggars on TV over the last couple of years - you know the couple with 19 kids.  The latest piece I saw on the Today Show was about a typical morning in their house.  Getting 19 kids awake, feed, cleaned up, off to school (or ready for home school in their case).  I'll admit, I was watching and waiting for the chaos to ensue.  But there was none.

They were a model of efficiency.  As they sat and talked about how a typical morning goes, it was very clear.  Everyone had jobs; only the babies were given a pass.  Everyone also had jurisdictions - sections of the house they were responsible for.  As I was watching it, my mind started remembering the different management styles I studied in college and then it dawned on me.  With a family of 21, they were just like a small business. 

So, in an unexpected twist, here are the Top 5 Things Small Businesses Can Learn from The Duggars:

  1. Organizational Hierarchy.  Mom & Dad are the CEOs/Managers. The older children are the middle managers for the younger children.  But ultimately everyone reports to Mom & Dad and they know it.
  2. Clearly Defined Roles.  Each child knows what they are responsible for and what is expected of them.  And then they are given the tools to do their job successfully.
  3. Teamwork.  While everyone has their own job, they are split into teams to work together to accomplish a common goal.
  4. Organization.  There is a place for everything and everything is in its place.  They have a garage-sized pantry, designed purely from an efficiency stand point.  It was the quickest and easiest way to unload the groceries directly from the car to the shelves (which by the way are complete with labels).
  5. Schedule.  They don't just wake up in the morning and decide what to do that day.  They have a schedule, and everyone knows where they are supposed to be and when they are supposed to be there.  They plan everything - including menus for every meal and they shop accordingly.  By maintaining a schedule they have control over the day instead of the day being completely out of control.
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