I was going about my task doing a team building event. It was a large event. There were a lot of bikes to unpack from their boxes. The usual process is to open the top reach down inside the box and remove part by part. There had to be a better way. I had a box cutter, so I decided to lay the box down flat and cut out the side. I could expose the whole bike and the various parts. Then I could close the box back up so it could be taken away.
It really wasn’t a great innovation, but it made the job easier and more efficient. The shame of it was, (I have to admit), and it took me quite a while to come up with the idea. The old process of ripping the box top that was stapled and glued, then working to get everything out of the box, was becoming much more difficult. I’d learned the process one way and never questioned it.
Great leaders challenge the process. They look for better, more efficient, effective ways to accomplish a task. It could be simple. It can be very involved and difficult. But the process is always open for consideration. Too often, the process isn’t open for consideration. Because it’s viewed as being owned by the person who invented it. If we challenge ‘the process’, we are challenging the inventor.
Poor leaders guard the process, (because of ownership). Great leaders challenge the process they know the results are important. Progress is important – more important than ego and ownership.
Great leaders challenge the process, whether it is their own or another’s. They are willing to give up ownership for the sake of progress and innovation. It’s been said before, the seven last words of a dying organization, “We’ve never done it that way before”.
Points to Ponder –
Rate on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being high). How willing am I to challenge a process? Does it depend on who instituted the process? Why is it sometimes easier to go along to get along?
Can you think of a time when you challenged a process and it worked out great? How did you feel? Can you remember a time when you challenged a process and failed? How did that make you feel? What did you do right and wrong in each instance? How can you learn from it?
Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge