Over the course of the past week, I have been reminded both in a business setting as well as a personal setting that the only way to drive real resolution to any issue, large or small, is through a systemic process approach oriented to a step by step solution versus a quick fix. As many of you know, I was schooled in a business environment that placed a very high value on processes and procedures. While I believed in it and that has become the baseline for how I think from a business perspective, it does not stop me or many others from desiring a faster solution or a “quick fix” at times especially when it comes to more personally oriented issues.
First, from a business perspective, I had the opportunity about a week ago to lead a Board of Directors (which I am a member of as well) and the co-owners of the business through a workout process (a well documented General Electric process) with a focus on how to grow business prospects, track the status of those prospects and close on the prospects via creating a solution that appealed to their respective needs. In this workout process, we had a rather loose structure/agenda but there was a clear process that I walked the team through to define where we are and where we need to go to drive growth. I did not provide answers but I provided the structure for them to define the needs, actions, person/persons responsible and follow up to begin to construct the solution for growth. The critical takeaways are that we followed a very process oriented structure to get everyone involved in the definition and activities to address the business needs for growth. We then established a very defined process for follow-up actions and reviews with clear dates, responsibilities and tracking mechanisms. We will improve both our number of business prospects and close rate but it will take us several months to do so as we follow the process. The other alternative so often employed is to identify as individuals or as smaller groups “shoot from the hip”alternatives or “quick fixes” that are not documented, evaluated or agreed upon as a group resulting in many initiatives with little results.
I will keep you posted on the results of this process as we move forward as a team but I can tell you a couple of results that have been accomplished already that are significant. First, we are more of a team with a stronger bond and team direction than existed before the process began. Second, we have agreed upon actions and responsibilities with involvement from all. Third, we are all focused on selling and grow regardless of our unique roles/responsibilities. Last, we have a plan that will take us forward and if the results are not what we desire we have a process for next steps as a team. Why would any team want to resolve business problems or try to operate on a daily basis without strong process orientation. In the next blog I will write about the importance of process in a personal setting as well.