Great processes don’t remove the need to have great people

“Turn it into a process”. Most businesses I work with are either doing this, or live in shame because they’re not!

I enjoyed Sam Carpenter’s Work the System. Along with The E-myth, it creates a compelling case for proceduralising what your business does. Rightly so.

But the key justification I hear leaders cite for process is that it replaces the need to have great people. “If we have great processes” the logic goes, “we can create quality work without having to hire expensive people”.

Dangerous path. If you’re in a commodity world, where much of what you do doesn’t depend on people being smart or genuinely caring about what they do, then perhaps the logic is flawless.

But if you’re in a business where your clients value and can tell if a service or product is delivered with care and attention (meaning EVERY service business, and many product ones), then quality people will out-deliver quality processes.

Every time.

Don’t ignore process – it is essential. But don’t view it as a replacement for having great people. And if I were you, I’d also focus harder on getting great people than great processes. Then maybe ask them to create those processes.

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