Kurt is a seasoned energy services executive with an intense focus on customer relations and project success. His experiences span business management, operations leadership and sourcing/supply chain responsibility for casing-related products and technologies.
Dilemma: Process Versus People
Throughout my career, I have experienced the evolution of business processes and their importance. From the days of hand written processes and procedures to the complex flow charts and decision trees that we see today. I firmly believe in the value of process and procedure because a systematic approach to the building blocks of an organization drives progress.
Processes enhance a critical level of compliance and risk mitigation and if managed correctly, can lead to operational success. Process also sets the expectation for employees and drives the overall goals and objectives of an organization no matter how small or large. Management is able to clearly communicate with the broader organization through process and procedure.
Unfortunately, in our haste to up the ante on streamlining and organizing our businesses with process and procedure, we sometimes lose sight of one simple fact. It is people that make the engine go. We as leaders have become so fascinated with the process flow that we have devalued the individuals behind the flow chart. People have become interchangeable cogs rather than integral to the process. Irony sets in at some point because without people, there would be no process or procedure to begin with.
True leadership recognizes the significant importance of having a strong team behind any process. My experience level in hiring a team has quickly taught me that losing a highly qualified employee is costly to the organization. Rarely have I found that replacing an individual was plug and play, not to mention the time spent and cost associated with finding the right fit.
We as leaders need to change our mindset going forward and balance the importance of process with having the right team of people. I have heard many times that I should “trust the process”. I say “trust your team members to develop and execute on the process”. Inefficiencies in processes will not shake out in a vacuum but a strong team will identify gaps quickly and efficiently.
Value your team and let them know that you care about them. That investment alone will return huge dividends by positively impacting compliance with process and procedure.
Just my two cents.