Leadership Reawakening: People Not Processes Create & Innovate

Leadership Reawakening: People Not Processes Create & Innovate

Leaders, has your organization fallen in love with processes? Do you label them best practices and rely on them heavily? Processes can ensure uniformity of results. Advantageous for the now and dangerous for the future.

It’s time to rethink this. It’s time for a leadership reawakening that ignites employee innovation not preserves the established process.

Leadership Reawakening: Image is of business people in meeting w/ flow chart on wall.

Leadership Reawakening: People Not Processes Create & Innovate Image by Erin Sparking via Flickr.

Image by Erin Sparling via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Uniformity of results to many represents the ideal — no possible failure. It’s alluring and almost addictive. The processes expand to prevent every possible deviation. Excessive documentation to prove everyone followed the process takes up more and more time. Sometimes the mission of the company deviates from the initial vision and becomes one of sustaining the process.

Companies are not the only organizations susceptible to this addiction to process. One of my online management colleagues Khalid Abdulla found and posted this TED talk on fixing Social Services. A powerful talk by Hilary Cottam about the results they created when she and colleagues broke through addiction they witnessed by breaking process with an innovative approach. It was a true leadership reawakening through innovation with remarkable results.

Leadership Reawakening: For Innovation, Focus on People Not Processes

Leaders, ask yourselves: Are you mission driven or process driven? Does your leadership keep the company alive or mostly the processes?

Reawaken your leadership focus on people not processes!

  • Engage and train people to question and interact to create and innovate. If your onboarding schedule is full of process training, add workshops about innovating and improving.
  • Have expiration dates on processes. Prior to the expiration date, teams review and change processes to reflect the innovations they have created.
  • Better yet, start every team interaction with innovation not the process is. Create a summary of approach for that innovation instead of codifying a process that takes on a life of its own.
  • Replace silos with cross teamwork. Processes are often put into place to make one team’s operations clear to other teams. Innovation sessions that include different teams reduce the need for fixed inflexible processes that top innovation.
  • Ask your employees for ideas on how to overcome addiction to process and breathe new life into innovation. If your organization has become process driven, you must initiate this request and kindle their creativity.

Ignite a leadership reawakening in yourself and creative innovation in your employees. Elevate questioning over following process. Fire up their passion for excellence not their addiction to process.

Where have you seen innovation conquer process addiction?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
10 Reasons Why Hardwiring Patient Experience Best Practices Will Make You Average by @chaisecamp
Leadership Innovation Blocks: Which Ones of These Are Stopping You?
Leadership Reawakening: Make It Easier to Innovate Than to Complain and Stay the Same

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

2 Responses to “Leadership Reawakening: People Not Processes Create & Innovate”

  1. Khalid says:

    Hi Kate,

    It’s an honor to be mentioned in one of your usual wonderful posts. It’s so kind of you.

    I felt moved when I saw that talk and I’m glad you found it useful to come up with such a distinction between people and processes.

    When people put processes they should put them with “people” in mind. We shouldn’t make processes as an excuse not to serve customers better.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      You have a great eye for finding and seeing the new posts (like the TED talk) that relate to our people skills global community Khalid. So grateful!


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