Process Centered Organizations III

Careers Vs Jobs

At the end of my last blog we asked the question whether your culture supported careers or jobs.

This is a very important distinction to make so we can avoid deceptive traps of rationalizing or erroneously explaining away your current situations or outcomes.

Careers are about personal growth, handling of more complex problems, and contributing in meaningful ways improving the company’s relations with its customers.

Personal growth requires:

  • Reflection – careful thought and reconsidering previous actions, events, or decisions in order to be constantly learning from your experiences
  • That you step out of your comfort zone and commit to more complex arenas of performance
  • Constant learning and hard work

A successful career is therefore:

  • Being all that you can be
  • Meaning making
  • Being the author of your own reality
  • Bringing and adding value to relationships
  • Having conversations that matter with others
  • Sharing images of the future
  • Unconditionally doing your best

In process centered organizations the professional’s value or capacity to generate income is derived from their customers. They will hand it over to you only if you deliver what they desire. Higher incomes through improved performance are consummated through reflection, stepping out of your comfort zone, constant learning and hard work.

Unfortunately there is little job security in a process centered organization. Only the customer is in a position to offer security and the customer is notoriously demanding and fickle. Just when you think you have them understood they flee to the next fad. It is only when you create customer loyalty do you have any assurance of client retention and job security. More on Client loyalty, satisfaction and retention in a subsequent blog post.

Lastly, for the professional monetary compensation should never be the end game. If you have passion for what you do and perform with enthusiasm and fervor, then bountiful rewards will always find your way.

Process Engineers

We are now ready for the question – Who establishes process in a process centered organization? As it turns out every business owner or leader must become Process Engineers. This is the first step in having the business or practice that you desire. Yes, everyone can have the practice that they desire by committing to process engineering, process design, process management and fostering a culture of careers and accountability.

The process engineer shall provide the process owners with knowledge of the process so it can be performed. The process engineer shall design, document its existence, and put training in place to allow for its performance.

The process engineer must at least for the first time, formulate best practices to service their customer’s needs, deliver products and services, and resolve customer complaints. As a business owner I will perform this activity for each process one time only. Maintaining the process and assuring best practices then becomes the responsibility of the newly assigned process owner. This process owner is now on target for a career versus a job because you are now leading a culture of professionalism and accountability.

When developing process the process engineer must consider the following:

  • What should the process provide and to whom?
  • What time frames are involved, flexibility and necessary precision needed?
  • Will the results create profitability, return on assets and growth for the company?
  • Will the design meet both the customer and company needs?
  • How much is the customer willing to pay for the results?

Process Management

Now that you have engineered the process and it is designed, documented, and assigned, we turn our attention to process management. As described in my previous blog, process management is a non-value added service which the customer does not value and serves only as a hidden cost. However, process management is the “glue” that hold things together and is a necessary evil in all successful organizations – just keep it to a minimum.

The essence of process management is oversight of process and not people. The function of process management is:

  • Process documentation
  • Resources assessment and allocation
  • Customer feedback mechanisms
  • Benchmarking and knowledge of your competition
  • Best practices oversight
  • Training and developing process performers

People should be treated like responsible, respectful and autonomous individuals. If they understand the demands of the customer and the big picture of the work to be done, and are guided by clear metrics then they will do what needs to be done. Remember process performers are both worker and manager, hence self managed.

Process Owners and Coaches

The process owners shall function as process coaches since they are experts to the processes they own. The process coach shall be a mentor and facilitator to process performers. A process coach shall monitor results and investigate when problems arise. The performers carry out the process, but the owners and coaches represent it with constant example.

In order to transition to a Process Centered Organization, processes must come to the forefront via a well described organizational (process) chart. I have shared my Organizational Chart in a previous blog for your reference.

Then put on your engineers hat and identify and document all processes and best practices that are important to you which defines your organization. Over time you will then identify and develop professionals to act as process owners and coaches who can teach the processes to process performers. With good oversight (process management) all your good practices will be assured of maintaining their status quo.

You are now one step closer to your “Preferred Future“

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