- Posted by J. Nirdosh Reddy
- On October 24, 2022
- Management Ideas
Culture of an organization
For a very long time, managers were told to get results – no matter how. So, they gave tasks to their subordinates, reviewed their progress, and rated people on what they delivered. When a problem occurred, they asked ‘who did it?’ and blamed somebody.
Now, there is a general realization that results we achieve are outcomes of sequence of activities – processes – and that if things don’t go well, we need to first ask where our processes are breaking down, not who did it. It turns out that in over 90% of the cases, the problems are somewhere in the processes, and not necessarily the failure of any person to do what they were expected to do.
This realization is profoundly altering how managers manage. The focus of managers is shifting from managing people to managing processes through people. As processes get improved, results keep improving. Engagement of employees increases, so does their self-esteem.
Benefits of process-oriented thinking
Process-oriented thinking all through the organization (just remember POTATO) will benefit you in multiple ways. The tree that grows from the seed of process-oriented thinking has numerous branches, each branch yielding much needed help.
- Customer focus
- Satisfying customers – external as well as internal – becomes the pre-imminent goal of the enterprise
- Empowerment of employees
- All employees feel empowered to streamline and improve their processes
- Cross-functional teamwork
- Traditional walls between departments crumble
- There will be better alignment of the efforts of all departments
- Continuous improvement
- Each problem becomes a source for improvement
- Continuous improvement becomes a way of life
- Decision making at lower levels
- With accountability better understood, decision-making would take place at lower levels
- Reduced layers of management
- Old school mindset was that one cannot effectively manage more than seven people.
- Since people involved in processes are managing their processes, it becomes possible to oversee well over 20 processes. So called ‘span of supervision’ increases to over 20, thus reducing the number of layers in management hierarchy.
- Free up management’s time
- Since day to day firefighting reduces to practically zero, senior management’s time is freed up to focus on long term strategic issues
Better utilization of human capital
We have been so used to task-management that transformation to process management has been rather difficult. Broadly speaking, the mindset of many leaders has already changed toward process-oriented thinking, but changes in managerial practices are lagging behind – habits are harder to change! Self-assessment of the health of your enterprise would reveal to you if any improvements are needed at the workplace.
A digital tool that can help you better implement process-oriented thinking, and unleash the so far untapped potential of your employees is described in the blogpost ‘Higher profits through better alignment and accountability’.