"Work The System" by Sam Carpenter is a guide to creating scalable and predictable processes that can lead to more efficient and effective operations. The book emphasises the importance of writing things down, creating general operating procedures (GOPs), and standard operating procedures (SOPs), all of which are essential for growth operations.

Key Concepts

  1. Documenting Processes: The book stresses the need to write down processes, creating a clear roadmap that can be followed consistently. This helps in understanding the workflow and identifying areas for improvement.
  2. General Operating Procedures (GOPs): Carpenter introduces the concept of GOPs, which are overarching guidelines that govern how a business or system operates. These are essential for maintaining consistency and alignment with the organisation's goals.
  3. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): SOPs are detailed, step-by-step instructions that describe how to perform specific tasks. They are vital for ensuring that tasks are carried out in a uniform manner, reducing errors, and making the process more efficient.
  4. Scalability and Predictability: The book argues that having well-documented and standardised procedures is the foundation for scaling operations. By having a predictable process, businesses can more easily automate and grow their operations without losing control or quality.
  5. Alignment with Automation: Carpenter's approach aligns well with the concept of automation. By having clear and standardised procedures, it becomes easier to implement automation tools that can handle repetitive tasks, freeing up human resources for more complex and creative work.

Personal Reflection

The concepts in "Work The System" resonate with me, especially in the context of growth operations. While some ideas are also found in other works like "The Checklist Manifesto," this book's focus on creating GOPs and SOPs has been particularly valuable. I believe that having a scalable and predictable process is essential before scaling, and this book has been instrumental in shaping my approach to building automations. By emphasising the importance of documenting processes and creating standardised procedures, it has helped me create a more efficient and effective workflow in my professional life.


"Work The System" offers practical insights into creating and managing processes that can lead to more efficient operations and growth. By focusing on documentation, standardisation, and alignment with automation, it provides a roadmap for businesses looking to scale without losing control or quality. Its principles are applicable across various industries and can be a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their operational efficiency.

Break work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, to improve mental agility.

Implement strategic pauses in your workflow to reassess priorities and prevent burnout.

Designate uninterrupted time slots for deep work to boost efficiency and output.

Prioritise tasks by urgency and importance to maximise productivity.

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What you'll learn

About Ewoud

Ewoud Uphof is an experienced growth marketer and certified growth optimiser. He started full-funnel marketing in 2012, long before it was called 'growth hacking'.

As Head of Growth he has helped grow 50+ companies ranging from start-ups to multinationals.

In the past decade he has co-founded multiple companies.

About Ewoud

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Work The System

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