How to Manage Your Business Like Jack Bauer


A nuclear bomb has just gone off in LA, there are more bombs out there, but the only contact you have that knows of their whereabouts is not talking. The president is under threat and it turns out that his right hand man is the one to blame. What do you do?

Well if your anything like the guys at CTU in the TV show “24″ you won’t have to think about it, you see, Jack Bauer and co have many pre-written protocols, things couldn’t be easier! CTU has already pre-empted every single possible global disaster and has put into a place a system of rules to follow when such a little problem should arise.

When something needs doing, they “go to protocol” and everyone knows exactly what they need to do.

This allows them to get things done effectively, properly, quickly and with almost no room for error.

Maybe a usual day in the office for most of us isn’t quite as serious as this. Infact sometimes the most serious thing I have to deal with is not how long will it take to save the universe, but instead how long will it take for my computer to load up before I can actually do some bloody work!
However we can all take a leaf out of Jack’s book. By having a series of rules already set out, life can be made much easier.

Recently I have been given a number of tasks, some of which I will do on a daily basis, others I won’t do again for weeks. Now to be fair my memory isn’t that great and so there is no way I will be able to remember how to do a task that I was shown weeks ago. That is why we have developed a system (protocols). I have written all my notes as simple step-by-step guides and stored them in a place that is easy to find. That way I can go to them later and just get on with the job and not have to ask Dean a million questions, well in theory anyway!

One of my tasks, for example is to add a blog post that Dean has written into WordPress. So instead of remembering every intricate detail, I find the protocol for adding new posts, and it tells me where I need to log in, what my login details are, what buttons I have to press next and where they are on the screen, what I have to type, etc etc.

So in the case of the blog post I will log in and under the title Posts on the left of the screen I would click Add New. When the new window opens I then know to type a title in the first box. I also need to make sure that the second box is HTML. This where I put any relevant information, images, or codes (I’ve got protocols on how to do these too). I then need to go to the righthand of the screen to the title Tags, type in a few keywords and then click Add. If I scroll down I can tick the relevant Category boxes. Once I have done all of this I scroll back up slightly, on the top right I click Preview and if I am happy with the post I click Save Draft.

It’s as simple as that.

So, by copying Jack and his clever little system I don’t necessarily save the world, but I do save a great deal of time. Not only do I save my time, but as the business expands there is less time needed to train new members of staff, just show them the protocol and away they go. It also means that by having all my notes neatly stored they could quite easily get a trained monkey to do my job and fire me… on second thoughts maybe this protocol thing isn’t such a good idea afterall!

mole in ctu

PS: There is a mole in CTU ;-)

  • Bronson

    I could not agree with you more.

    This kind of M.O. not only means that new starters are able to hit the ground running – but also that outputs remain consistent thanks to standardised processes which can be analyzed and refined if need be.

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  • Lethario

    fascinating post. And I love the mole!

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  • YingHang

    Jack Bauer rocks with his superb strategies

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