“If you keep on doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten.“
Introduction- Understanding the Process
Many leaders of today are tremendously talented, but they are not successful at the rate of their talent levels. Perhaps the biggest reason for this is because they do not know how to excerpt positive change within themselves, their subordinates, and others. This, however, is a symptom that a problem exists and not the root cause of the problem. The root cause of the problem is because of their lack of understanding the importance of processes. When speaking about the 4 P’s of Leadership (a technical system), it should be noted that the fourth P involve the entire process or procedure. Perhaps the biggest thing with understanding the process is understanding that it is a process, not an event, occurrence, or coincidence. Nothing happens all at once; every smaller task or detail is linked to and connect to a larger outcome. A leader must also understand that all of the other P’s (that is planning, preparing and prioritizing) are influenced by the principle of the process.
Understanding Subsets of Processes
To completely understand and use the principle associated with processes, one must grasp the concept that there are subsets which, must be done in a particular order underneath the overall concept of processes. For example, understanding that planning should come before preparation is to understand that this is part of the process. Or understanding that prioritization comes with promises, whether it is done correctly or not this is part of the process. If something is done the right way – it will always produce a net positive result even if mistakes are made. The reason is because it is a process; therefore, the system is built on the ability to adapt, adjust and get better, as well as, adjust to become more efficient. It should additionally be noted that understanding the process means understanding the importance of time management in the planning process. Great leaders do not waste time; they conduct meaningful activities which enhance the position of the organization in one way or another.
Processes Contain Solutions
Now let’s look at possible solutions found in the principle of understanding how processes work. One of the things that should be noted is that simple solutions can be used to solve complex problems. In the process stage, a leader must remember that each activity and task have an associated process. Poor leaders do not understand this and often will allow the situation to control their actions instead of controlling the situation…by their actions. Additionally, leaders must remember that all activities and tasks are supported by a process– meaning that a leader can then influence these processes or procedures. Once again if a leader does not understand this, it will mean that they are allowing the circumstances of the situation to control them, instead of controlling the situation by their actions.
The Art of Change Process
If one was to look for steps on how to evoke change within any given organization – they would find that there are many smart people which could be directed to do so. However, often times the best solution is one that is simple, concise and to the point. A system which reaches and is understood by even the lowest positions within the organization automatically touches everyone in the organization. In this case, whenever you as a leader want to bring change in the organization, always go to the lowest level of the process and start there. The reason is because at the lowest level, it is the easiest to do and most effective/efficient way to do it successfully. In other words, organizational change never should start at the top it should begin at the bottom. The “idea” may start at the top, but when actual change is needed, it must start at the bottom of the organization. Top down change methodology seldom works for the entire organization, nor is it highly effective. Starting at the lowest level of the process ensures that this will take place where the work is being done. The further one moves away from the working level of the organization the more it become “art” instead of “science” (or at least this is the case with most projects).
This model is perhaps the easiest to understand and follow. Any change in the bottom line must be accomplished at the people level. This is as “they” say where the rubber meets the road. As a good leader this is your point of attack for any change which will be meaningful and permanent within the organization.
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again but expecting a different result –Albert Einstein. Truly understanding how procedures work will eliminate the guessing game on how to get positive change to occur within the organization. Leaders who want to get positive permanent outcomes will begin where the action takes place and ensure that each task and subtask is done in the most efficient way possible. This all but eliminates wasted time and efforts, brings new measures to the mechanics of the job, as well as, streamline the worker’s input and increases their output. This will ensure that the entire organization benefits from the process. Understanding that everything one does is captured in a process of some kind is a leader’s responsibility.
PS: Check out our next Breadcrumb as we examine how a leader can lead using The Principle of Process.