“Turn it into a process”. Most SMEs I come across with are either doing this, or claiming that they are doing it, such is the shame of not having all their key processes in place!
For SMEs, I enjoyed Sam Carpenter’s Work the System. Along with The E-myth, it creates a compelling case for proceduralising what your business does. Rightly so.
But the key justification I keep hearing leaders cite for process is that it replaces the need to have great people. “If we have great processes” the logic goes, “we can create quality work without having to hire expensive people”.
Dangerous path. If you’re in a commodity world, perhaps the logic holds.
But if you’re in a business where your clients value and can tell if a service or product is delivered with care and attention (meaning EVERY service business, and many product ones), then quality people who genuinely care will out-deliver quality processes.
Every. single. time.
Don’t ignore process – it is essential. Absolutely build it – it reduces unnecessary volatility.
But don’t think of it as a replacement for having great people. And if I were you, I’d also focus harder on getting great people than great processes.
Then maybe ask them to create those processes!
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