Posted by: Knightbird | January 18, 2011

Focusing on Process Details, Not Outcomes

Weight loss has been, for me, a yo-yo process. In the past, I have always been focused on outcomes, and not necessarily the details of the weight loss process details. Each morning, upon waking, I have been concerned about the outcome of the past days adherence to or straying from the process I had outlined. So I stand on the scale. I am not always so diligent about the process details, such as eating a variety of foods; balancing proteins, fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates; proper hydration and exercise. I need to understand that if I follow the process, and continuously improve my performance, the results will follow.

The same is true of the average workplace. We focus on outcomes. We set targets and work away at them until the due date arrives. Then we work like crazy to achieve the target. Rarely do we look at the process. And if we do, we find a consultant who has had success wringing improvements out of other organizations and hire them to do the same for ours, at significant cost. If we do improve, that improvement frequently erodes as we gradually replace our workforce.

However, when we understand our processes, are concerned about the details and understand our output, we don’t need to stand on the scale daily and monitor our performance. When we continuously improve our processes, and understand our output, we can then plan to meet the needs of our customers.

I have also written about the Beyond Budgeting concept, and how it hinders progress because of the limitations it sets on our performance. As Jack Welch said, it is an exercise in minimalization. When we open our minds to change and stretch goals, then spend time on the process details (not arguing among ourselves about outcomes though a budget) to reach those goals, our success will not be limited by the outcomes we set for ourselves.


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