Ancient cultures had traditional dances whose purpose was to affect a positive outcome. There were dances to bring on rain, to make game plentiful or to ensure a bountiful harvest. These traditions became deeply engrained, especially after an occasional rain or bumper crop. Even the most cynical participant was reluctant to challenge tradition. It was probably easier to do the dance and go with the flow than to challenge the connection between the dance and the outcome.
As with ancient cultures, many organizations embrace modern versions of the superstitious dance. It’s now called “process”. People convince themselves that as long as the process occasionally provides the desired outcome it’s easier to dance than to question why the process fails to provide the desired outcome all the time. How many times have you questioned an entrenched process only to be told “that’s the way we’ve always done it or if it ain’t broke don’t fix it?”
To an observer, the entrenched inefficient process is silly; to the participant the dance is sacred. Take the opportunity with your leadership team to question why you’re dancing. Identify the Core Processes that ensure that your company consistently produces results and delivers value to your customers. Choreograph the major steps and put each in the right sequence. Determine which steps can be measured to ensure that the process is working.
And, trust the process. Trust it until someone comes along and asks “why are we doing it this way?” If you’re occasionally producing the desired result you better quickly learn a new dance.