Another initiative that, in my educated opinion, has the ability to set your company apart from the competition is streamlining your processes. Nobody, but nobody, likes to be told how to do their job. This is why this issue sets organizations that excel at it apart. Standard operating processes lay the foundation upon which an organization that desires long-term sustainability can build. These processes are not intended to be constraining. They are intended to provide the parameters of operation, like the banks of a river. When the water remains inside the banks, it’s powerful and productive. When it overflows those banks, it’s powerful and destructive…and very messy!   

Having streamlined processes is the how for achieving the purpose discussed in the last post. Here’s how to become a process fanatic:   

  1. Step 1 is to Identify the processes that are needed. These should include everything from recruiting, hiring, development of people, to completing monthly financial reports, how decisions are made, how meetings are facilitated, etc.
  2. Step 2 is to Make the processes visible. Map them out. Flow chart them. Describe the desired outcome, the action steps for getting there, who’s responsible for what, and how long it will take.   
  3. Step 3 is to Implement the processes.
  4. Step 4 is to Watch the Game Films. What went right? What went wrong? How can we do it better?
  5. Step 5 is to Make the Changes and Do it Again.

To summarize: 1) Develop a stewardship mentality; 2) Create an environment of work with a purpose and achieve alignment; and 3) Streamline your processes. Implementing these three success drivers will do two things. It will build your business today, and it will build organizational capacity for tomorrow. Building your business today allows you to stay in business today. Building your capacity is the long-term sustainable value that will keep you in business tomorrow, whether you’re at the helm or passing the baton off to someone else.   

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