“But we changed the process…”
When businesses identify poor performance, they understand that maybe it’s about time they change something in the way they do things. And while there is no perfect recipe for a successful transformation, more often than not, it’s a combination of aspects that need to change and not one thing in isolation.
A common trap we fall in is the misconception that it’s always the processes that hold us back; they take time, they block us from optimizing our performance. And in most cases, they are indeed to blame, just not the only ones. If we add or remove steps from the process alone, we might observe a temporary improvement, but is that really what we should aim for?
There is a reasoning behind the way any processes are structured – what we refer to as the mindset. It is the thinking that drives certain behaviors within the organization, what people think is the best way to deliver value. And often, it is that thinking that makes the process such a blocker.
If you’ve shortened the process from fifteen steps down to five, but still consider it necessary to estimate, plan and report every single detail of the idea in advance, you haven’t really solved the problem. Rather, you are trying to treat the side-effects. Sooner or later, the process will become long and procedural again. Modern ways of working vouch for a flexible mindset of discovery, versus the traditional and bureaucratic mentality that was perceived as necessary in the past. Let’s make sure we don’t forget this when trying to transform.
In order for the right mindset to have an effect, the processes in place, the organizational structure and what you measure against for success must embrace the unpredictability that an environment of rapid change invites, and vice versa.