How do we grow a business? We need a far reaching vision for where we want to go coupled with a structured, repeatable process for getting there. We need innovation + execution. And execution, in today's digitally focused business world, is driven by three primary factors; people, process and technology. Today, we're talking about process.
Coming out of the software space, I've had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with organizations, reviewing their business model / service delivery processes. Organizations that have well thought out and well documented business processes tend to perform better then their less organized peers.
I'm sure we've all witnessed, or experienced firsthand, the cost of addressing one-off business exceptions. Without structured business processes, everything becomes an exception. It's difficult, if not impossible to optimize your business if you don't have a foundation to build on.
I know this is oversimplified, but think of your business as a machine, with cogs and levers representing your business processes. Your business is made up of dozens or hundreds of interconnected and interdependent business processes. As you grow the business, you need to increase the size of the cogs. You also need to add-in new cogs as the business becomes more complex. Spending time improving your business processes returns greater results then spending time dealing with one-off exceptions. Think of exception management as an expense and business process optimization as an investment. If you begin addressing business challenges with this mindset, you should find less repetition in those challenges, and a more streamlined operation.
Another key benefit thinking this way is, it's easier. Working within the structure of a consistency, repeatable process is easier for your employees and business partners. The process becomes embedded in the daily routine and becomes subconscious. This enables the team to use their 'Type 1' thinking for the process, which frees them up to use their 'Type 2' thinking for things like customer engagement, gain creation & creativity -- high value activities. If you're not familiar with Type 1 & Type 2 thinking, watch about 5 minutes of Noz Urbina explaining the concept here... Go to minute 12:50.
So, as you think about growing your organization, think about the business process models that support it.