Leaders must distinguish processes from practices.
Processes are repeatable, predictable and reduced-to-a-checklist. You can train low skill workers to execute processes. The intelligence is in the checklist/recipe/formula. They can take a while to perfect, and we often notice far too late that they need to be updated.
Practices rely on the caliber of the practitioner. They are people-centric. They can evolve at least as fast as the environment changes, because you have good people with imagination and creativity and a willingness to let go of what doesn’t work anymore.
Organizations need process discipline because they are table-stakes. The differentiating factor for the most successful organizations will be the quality of practitioners.
Point to ponder: We know how to make better things, faster and cheaper; do we know how to make better people?
We’re at the cusp of an age where few people lack basic needs and our problems aren’t solved by more “stuff”. Deep people, crafted one life at a time, is perhaps the only real hope remaining. I have this quote written in several of my journals:
“The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” (Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline)
This approach is completely at odds with
Our desire for instant results
Our foolish satisfaction with mass-produced scale
Our short-sighted craving of cheap
Invest in yourself and in your people, and keep working on your craft!