A Sound Process Equals Success

Wow. Don’t you love it when you read something that succinctly and poetically summarizes a core believe you’ve had your entire professional career? I tip my hat to Ms. Sally Credille, a blogger and Young Engineer group moderator that I supervise for the Society of Automotive Engineers (now SAE Int’l). Sally wrote this phrase during a post about how its important to keep learning, but sometimes, it’s more important to unlearn…but let’s get back to the poetry, “A Sound Process Equals Success.”

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times from SMB [small-medium biz] clients: Yeah, that’s a great idea, but we can’t get our employees to do it. Or, sure we can do that — and one month after you stop doing it for them, the activity disappears.

I’m not going to comment on leaders that can’t get their employees to do as instructed, but I do want to point out how important a process is to create a new habit. And habits are 90% of our lives — both personal and professional. A process is a check list. It’s a road map that spells out steps towards a goal, battles to a war. Once it’s on paper, can be posted, and used as a benchmark to judge the effectiveness (aka, review, raise, etc.) of an employee, a process becomes a powerful tool for change.

Nothing is impossible, if you know the steps to making it happen, make it into a process, and hold accountable those tasked to do the job. Change CAN happen for the better.

Change Hurts

As a marketing and sales consultant that specializes in small- to medium-size companies, I see it all the time: Change is hard. And it’s hard to better explain why change is hard than Karen Lindner does in this article.

Here are two of my favorite quotes:

“While executives and managers say that they want new ideas and new thinking from their employees, their actions indicate otherwise. New ideas are disruptive, they’re messy, they challenge the status quo, they require taking chances and increased risk, and they push everyone out of their comfort zones.” And yet, that is exactly what we need “to get of our comfort zones.”

and, the trickiest of all:

“One of the most important things any leader can do to improve their organization is to first improve who they are. For things to change, you must change, and for things to get better, you must get better. Always remember, excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude.”