You Don’t Need a System; You Need a Process

As I survey the leadership culture of today’s organizations – all organizations – I see a renewed interest in systems, and somehow that our problems are in our systems.  If we had better systems populated with obedient people, our churches and our companies and even our government would right their courses and move on a path of growth.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s our toxic, broken systems that have contributed a great part into where we are today.  Remember this.  After systems exist more than a couple of years, they exist only to survive.

Systems take on a life of their own because they are populated with people who are protecting their turf, their positions, and ultimately their livelihoods.  And you know like I do, someone protecting their family from financial ruin can get rough quick.  And who blames them?

We don’t need systems.  We need processes.  Maybe we needed systems back in the days before the Internet and ease of movement and the democratization of access.

But the truth is, today we need great processes.  A process is a pathway to a purpose, to a benefit, to a blessing.

Take Zappos for example.  They have great processes that are led forward by great, happy people.  If their process is unscalable, they simply change the process.

Look at Amazon.  They have a simple process to find what you want, get you where you want to go, buy what you want, find out all the details, check out, and get your stuff.  Isn’t that what we’re all after?

So instead of worrying about your systems, think about your process.  Focus on that, because the process creates a pathway for people to do business with you, to come to your church and feel wanted and welcomed without being snubbed.

My daughter has had her Nissan truck repaired at the same place since she owned it.  She loves it.  And she’s gotten great service.  But now the dealership has been sold.  And under the new ownership, with the old systems, the service sucks.  Guess what?  We’re leaving.  We won’t be back; not for service, and not to replace her Nissan when she needs a new one.  We’ll go somewhere where we’re treated with respect and where the process allows the people to serve their customers with joy, enthusiasm, and with the end goal of creating happy, repeat customers. Think about it.  How’s your system?  Probably stinks.  Think about replacing it with a process.

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