How To Break Out Of A Process Binge Culture

iStock_000004581445SmallWe’re about to start another process documentation binge” said the prospective client I was talking with, a shared services director.

“It’s across the business, driven from the center” he went on. “The trouble is that we define the processes but nobody seems to bother about following them.  They’re too difficult to understand. So we have a lot of compliance issues.”

Dear Reader, I’m not making this up.  This is a major European energy group.  [I’m even resisting naming and shaming the process tool mandated by this shared services centre because this malaise is not unique to this tool – it could any one of the technical process tools.]

I share the story as a brilliant example of the dysfunctional state of so many organizations when it comes to process management.  Stuck in a wasteful and dispiriting ‘binge’ culture.

At the other end of the spectrum, leaders are joining up the dots.  They see process as an enterprise asset which underpins risk management and provides one of the keys to sustainable change. They want an enterprise-wide process management platform that gets everyone collaborating effectively on continuous improvement. They aspire to be fluent in end-to-end process.

Which isn’t just good for their stockholders: it makes for a much more inspiring place to work.

© Text Michael Gammage 2013