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"Process" is a Four-Letter Word

By: jay - 2021-06-17

All companies use processes. In fact, a company’s success largely depends on its employees’ ability to execute their processes consistently and effectively, as well as the company’s ability to improve their processes.

What do you think of when you hear the word “process”?

  • Does it make you think of flowcharts? Because everyone loves flowcharts, right?
  • Does it make you worry that enforcing processes will stifle creativity and innovation?
  • Does it make you worry that you asking your employees to operate like mindless drones, walking around with blank stares and arms out at a 90-degree angle repeating “must follow process, must follow process, must follow process…”?
  • Does it give you anxiety because you consider yourself a “people person”, a “common sense person”, a “results person”? But definitely not a “process person”?

However, whether you’re a salesperson preparing for a presentation to a client, a recruiter preparing a job posting, a supervisor coaching an employee, or an executive performing a quarterly business review with a client, these are all critical processes that must be executed efficiently, effectively, and accurately. And if you have several (or several thousand) employees in your company, how do you know that they are all doing this consistently?

Consistent execution leads to consistent results. And consistently great execution of best practices leads to consistently great results.

Without documented work instructions, without confirmation that your processes are representative of best practices, without a good system of delivering these work instructions (and other related content) to your employees, and without a good way of inspecting what you expect, the reality is that there is no way to know that your employees are all performing consistently and effectively.

So when you think of “process” as a four-letter word, just remember that while you don’t need to be a “process person” to lead your company to success, you would be best served by having members of your staff who are “process people” (to some degree), best practices that are documented, a method of delivering these best practices to your employees, and a means of inspecting your employees’ process execution. I can’t think of a better way of delivering consistently great results.

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