Process is not a dirty word

Buying Christmas presents today, I was reminded of the power of processes. Agreed steps of action and set expectations.

So many of us get nauseous around words like processes, systems, routines or standards. We believe that our personal freedom and expression craves impulsiveness and “winging it”.

The power is in the combination. So, if you’re feeling the resistance in you right now, if the above words are dirty words to you, please lean in and look forward to the ride.

Bringing things into a system HELPS us focus our time and energy on the creativity and expression – because we’re not constantly busy cleaning up the mess, running around confused or fighting fires because no-one knew who should have done what and when.

What many of us is holding onto as “creative freedom”, is really creating a waste of our time. Reinventing the wheel for basic things that do not need reinventing. Wasting our time figuring out the best way, for something that’s been done many, many times by others.

Keep the basics predictable and reliable. Introduce routines, discipline and standards for the backbone of the experience you offer. Whether you’re a one-man-band or a big organisation.

Back to my shopping experience today: one shop out of the many I visited had a clear customer service system. All staff knew what to do, when and with which standards. No-one tried “re-inventing the wheel” with their personal spin on the customer experience – instead, the agreed steps in the meeting with me, the customer, and all the others meant that it was running smoothly, and they had the capacity to add personality and true connection with me and each other along the way.

We see this urge to “wing it” everywhere, but over the last 10 years, I have spotted it as nearly a banner of pride here in Australia: “I’m winging it, I must be awesome”. Therefore, it was even more of a pleasure today to experience the smooth, well-planned process – and the personal awesomeness being added as the sprinkle, the magic touch.

Where in your business and life are you “winging it” when it’s NOT needed? And therefore, wasting time, creating confusion and missing the clients’ expectations? As we know it all comes back to the business owner and the standards we’re setting: so, where are YOU winging it unnecessarily?

If this is pushing your buttons, let’s have a chat. And make the coming year the one where you end up LOVING the accountability of systems and clear expectations. So that you and your team can shine and thrive above it.