Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What’s more valuable – Time or Money

Two brothers of about the same age and with many similar interests – one of which is motorcycling. The older brother is recently retired and the other is slightly short of that time.

During the process of installing a new rear tire, brakes and wheel bearings, the older brother emails the younger saying how nice it is to have the time to be able to repair his own motorcycle to which the younger brother replies, “I can’t wait until I have the funds to pay someone else to do it!” 

What a great example of the difference in the value of time and money.  As Daniel Pink points out in “Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” we will often do work for ourselves that we will not accept pay for to do for someone else.  The value of time is to do what we want to do.  The interesting thing is we might use it working physically harder than we do at our place of paid employment. 

The challenge for the leader is to connect these dots.  Help your people align their passion with the work that needs to be done. 

How do you help align these priorities for your team?  Can you share an example? 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What’s more important – good processes or people?

It is one of the best problems to solve in business – having too much of it!

You really learn the strength of the team and processes in your organization when you are fortunate enough to win the confidence and business of customers.  After a week helping a client build and deploy the methods, tools and processes to maintain customer expectations, the question seemed very reasonable.  “John, which is more important, having good people or good processes?”  We were so focused on getting the processes right that the question made me sit back and think.

Of course they are both important, but that does not answer the question.  In most organizations, the most talented 5% of the team can accomplish the assignment with no defined process.  They are just so good they develop tools along the way to achieve the task.  The same organizations typically have the other 5% that will not or cannot follow the best defined processes.  Then there is the 90% of the team that really want to do a great job, are fully capable and want to support their teammates.  They want to do the right thing and want to be consistent.  They deserve proper support and direction from leadership.  They want and will follow well thought out and defined processes.  They would like to participate in the development of the processes and will likely make them lean and doable. 

So, assuming your organization has the 90% capable and well intentioned team, well developed processes seem pretty important.  What have you found to be the most important in your organizations?


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