Thursday, March 2, 2017

Lazy people, those process consultants

In the last 20 years I did quite some activities that could be labeled "something with processes".

I guess it won't surprise you that a big part of this time was spent on helping organizations that wanted to improve their processes. 
And those were all kind of organizations. There were the "usual suspects" like city councils, banks and insurance companies.  Also more exotic ones like power plants and a manufacturer of satellites and fighter jets.

And luckily I was also asked to contribute to companies that really matter. In industries like healthcare and education. 
Talking about education; I definitely have learned a lot in all those years. But for sure I don't know all the ins and outs of what is happening in the processes of those organizations.

And that is a hard time for a person like me. A guy who is very curious and who likes to know it all.

I want to know how things work. And, sometimes a little annoying, how they can be done better.

The biggest lesson I learned is that knowing all is just not possible as a process consultant.

Now I'm a little older, I think it's even better to not know it all. 
Every organization has processes on which the principles of "managing by process" are applicable, but I think "changing the processes" should not be the role of a process consultant.

And to be honest, wouldn't it be weird that I came to tell how to build a satellite or how to treat a patient?

(Luckily I got my own semi-professional hobbies were I am the owner and executor of the processes ;-)
The organizations that ask me for help, know very well what they are doing.  They might have lost a little grip on their processes and are looking for some help to get that back. With the final goal to spend more time on the real work again.

I see my role as a process-psychologist, asking open door questions like "What do you think yourself?"

A little kidding of course. Although, not completely. I believe organizations should improve their own processes. I can coach them a little or ask some mean questions to keep things in a proper (process)context.

But changing things? They should do that themselves. 
So I can take a nap.

Happy processing!