Something great happened 4+ yrs ago when a good idea forced me out of my management comfort zone. For the previous 15 yrs, I was quagmired in our operational routine. Because there wasn't a successful out of the box personal-training-by-appointment-boutique-business-model to emulate, we were forced to create our own processes through trial & error. We would pioneer our way through varying degrees of success & failure but quickly realize our biggest struggle was going to come from people management.
People management is challenging because no two people are the same. What motivates one may not motivate the other(s) and regardless of how many 'how to manage' books you read, leadership courses you attend or personality characteristics you understand, there's 100% of a 2 person relationship you cannot control. We concluded the right person in our organization, was the person who followed the right process on a consistent basis. No more. No less. This forced us to change the original process of hiring friends and people 'with potential' and as you can imagine, few made it to the next level. Our key take away? There's the process.... and then there's the right process. The two are very different.
Regardless, I hated them both. My personality wasn't process oriented. I wanted us to be able to do what we wanted, how we wanted, when we wanted like the old days. I didn't need to be held accountable, hated feeling like I was being micro managed and blamed and/or avoided those who were giving me the Q&A I needed to hear vs the Q&A I wanted to hear. But as we continued to grow, I began to see how much more work my short sightedness was creating and subsequently taking us further away from our organizational goals. This was a reality I had not previously understood.
Enter The 60 Minute Kidsclub. A business suggestion to differentiate ourselves at the next level by creating a charity more closely aligned with our company values. I took the challenge two feet in and in doing so, entered an entirely new level of what/why & how the right process works to create business success. First, the process of setting up a charity, then the process of charitable governance, then governments (*process at it's absolute best AND worst).
By far, my greatest learning came from working along side Canada's #1 Charity; The Heart & Stroke Foundation and Canada's #1 Philanthropic Telco; TELUS.
At the outset I was constantly being told to slow down, be patient, allow the right process to play out and eventually because it was coming from people who I knew had the same end goal and much more experience than myself, I had to shift my mindset from talking to listening. From pushing through to flushing out. In doing so, this would eventually pave the way for me to move from being a liability, to becoming an asset. Meetings began by clarifying outcome goals, feedback wasn't sugar coated and NO DETAIL was ever left to chance or let slide. After an idea left that room, it would be vetted by comms, legal, back here, over there and tweaked by someone else prior to being released. An exemplary model of the right process in action time & time again.
I gleaned 5 critical lessons from this experience.
- The right process is critical for business success. Establish, follow and do not deviate from it until a better process has been tangibly proven, piloted and implemented.
- The right process is essential for anyone who aspires to move from the mom & pop to larger business size. This includes internal and external expansion.
- The right person, is she or he who quickly, efficiently and consistently implements and executes the right process as they are drawn up.
- The wrong person / people must be held accountable to the right processes until they reach the acceptable level of compliance or, they depart.
- The wrong people & process will eat your time & suck your energy inhibiting your ability to reach your ultimate business success.
Don't do your own thing in an ecosystem. There is no need nor time. Contribute to creating, implementing & following the right process so you can enjoy a much greater level of business success.