Liberate Your Team with Clearer Processes

I am pleased to share that this post on strategy + business, Liberate Your Team with Clear Processes, has just received a 2018 Azbee Bronze Award of Excellence from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (one of many awards for the magazine).

My goal was to offer a way out of a recurring challenge for many teams: Our aversion to “process” in the sense of checklists and forms, and our desperate need for workflows that work.

I am sure you are familiar with the challenge. Ask any member of your team if they want to institute better processes and be prepared for them to roll their eyes. “‘Better processes’ means ‘more bureaucracy,’” someone will mutter. But ask that same team how much they enjoy doing projects the hard way — duplicating efforts, scrambling to meet deadlines when someone drops the ball, or bearing the brunt of customer fury — and you can expect the floodgates to open.

As a leader, what can you do? How do you walk the tightrope between poorly implemented processes with annoying rules and checklists, and the danger of “winging it” when quality, productivity or safety are at stake?

One solution is to re-frame how you think about “process.” At their heart, effective processes are not about adding red tape — they are about enabling “flow.” Wherever there is an activity that happens repeatedly in your business, there is a potential flow. As a leader, you have the choice to leave this flow to chance, to control it, or to channel it.

In this post on strategy + business, Liberate Your Team with Clear Processes, I explore three ways you can improve processes to generate that sense of “flow” and enable your team to feel more productive.

See what you think!

All the best,

Elizabeth Doty