Updated: Mar 26
How many times have you heard this question - ‘Do we have a process for that?’
If I had a photo depicting every moment when I heard that question, I would have an amazing coffee table photo-book!
If you’re asking yourself that question right now, you already know the answer. It either doesn’t exist or it is so antiquated you’d be better off if it didn’t exist.
For some reason, processes are perceived in a negative light. This is somewhat understandable, because when you delve into them they can make you feel like you’re walking the plank. They can be daunting and meticulous to develop. Yet, they can also set the stage for huge celebrations when mission-critical value is evidenced. You’re basically using processes to evidence your worth.
Whether you are an established organization looking to maintain your competitive standing or you’re a new startup, you definitely need processes. Any action-step that drives the mission of your organization and can produce results or outcomes should have a process that defines it.
So, what exactly are processes and how do you create them?
Simply stated, a process is a plan filled with actions (or steps) intended to produce a specific outcome. You typically start with an end-goal in mind. If you achieve that goal, fabulous! If you don’t, it’s still okay. The great thing about a process is that it allows you to retrospectively analyze how and why you wound up with a particular set of results.
Processes can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make them.
For example, I want a process to use with clients that boldly establishes solid guidelines and boundaries at the outset of our conversations. At the same time, I want to create an environment of cohesiveness and build a culture of transparency within the group. The Collaborative’s process for delivering this is called “Preparing The Group”.
We use this process to launch every project and to kick-off each and every session throughout the span of the project. We can track successes (and derailments) back to how this process was rolled out. Outcomes related to this directly inform our decisions surrounding strategies, solutions, and opportunities for our clients, as well as, transformations within our own services.
Another Collaborative process, is our “Agreement Tree”. This is a high-level visioning tool that keeps us rooted in our mission and our clients. It’s simple, direct, and delivers measurable results.
Details, oh my! Processes are stuffed with details.
Remember, though, your overarching goal is to deliver outcomes and understand how to consistently deliver those outcomes over time. This becomes the foundation of a thriving and sustainable organization.
Use these recommendations to create (or recreate) your own processes:
Use verbiage that is clear, concise and can be evidenced with measurable outcomes.
Create processes that empower both high-level decision-making, as well as, the nitty-gritty details; like how you want meetings to be facilitated.
Well-written processes are future oriented and historical focused at the same time.
Allow your processes to be your roadmap - guiding you to your desired outcomes.
Use your processes to understand your outcomes.
Present your processes in a graphic style that matches your culture and enhances your team’s ability to understand and embody them.
We want to know about a process that you were prompted to create (or modify) because you read this blog. Here’s what we want you to do:
Tomorrow, meet with your team and decide which process your organization will review and update first. Use our templates as examples to inspire ideas. Challenge your team to come to consensus on the final version of your process before September 20, 2018.
Once you have your first process in place guiding your organization, gather evidence to support its effectiveness. Are you meeting the desired outcomes? Is your organization's daily practice aligned to the mission? Should something internal to your organization change so that you can achieve your desired results?
Processes - you really do need them more than you realize.
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