First Understand the Process

Chapter 3 Pg’s 63-64 Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki

How do you make decisions about assignments? First, you must decide what the job or position really is and how it’s into the work process of your organization. This “systems approach” to evaluating all the jobs in your group is essential if you are to help people achieve the organization’s goals. All too often, poor leaders forget that although the end result is essential, the process determines success. For example, a boss who says, “I do not care how you do it, get the backlog out by tomorrow,” gives associates great freedom, indeed, license to do whatever they think necessary to take care of the backlog. However, since the instruction makes no reference to the quality of the work, it leaves the associates with far too much freedom to cut corners and to ignore the impact on the unit’s other responsibilities, especially to other sections in the company.

 How we get the job done does matter. If a process is designed to make each sequential element achieve specific results, then the entire process will be more likely to achieve superior results. Hence, it does matter what the elements are in the system. Leaders must know those elements and continue to improve on their achievement. In short, in order to assign a task, leaders must know if the task is required, why it is required, and what defines effective completion. Lastly, they must know why that accomplishment is essential to the organization’s mission. Ironically, for many leaders, this first step—focusing on assignment—is completely missed. Perhaps it is because the leader’s boss said something like, “Do not mess with the system. We have worked for years to get a stable system, and we do not want you to change anything.” This situation is not unusual. Inertia is a terrible disease in many organizations.

 Other leaders fail to look into the process because it takes so long to do it right or because it’s hard work. Much to their chagrin, eventually the cost of avoidance exceeds the cost of commitment. Whatever the case, leaders must develop a clear knowledge, not just of the process and the jobs within it, but of how their part of the process affects others in the organization. What one associate does will have an influence on the others; similarly, what one unit does will have an influence on the other units in an organization. Your unit must be linked through an effective process to the rest of the organization. Your output must meet the demands of the customer or of other units in the firm. The recipient of your finished product or service is either an external or an internal customer. Be certain the customer gets what is desired and required. If the process you manage is not functioning properly, if it does not produce the intended result effectively, then it requires mending. A broken process can destroy an organization, but it can also destroy an individual assigned to it. Before you make an assignment, then, consider the human result of failure created by a work process that makes success impossible for any incumbent. Once again, make these decisions with love in mind.

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