Making Process Better But Destroying Goals–Leadership Lesson

Making the process better, easier, and cheaper is an important aspiration, something we continually work on—but it is not the goal . Making something great is the goal. I see this over and over again in other companies: A subversion takes place in which streamlining the process or increasing production supplants the ultimate goal, with each person or group thinking they’re doing the right thing—when, in fact, they have strayed off course. When efficiency or consistency of workflow are not balanced by other equally strong countervailing forces, the result is that new ideas—our ugly babies—aren’t afforded the attention and protection they need to shine and mature. They are abandoned or never conceived of in the first place.

The quote is from Creativity Inc., Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way of True Creativity, by Ed Catmul, president of Pixar and Disney Studios.

It’s Friday leadership day. I’ve been reading Catmul’s book on leadership. It is a fascinating look into the creative process of Pixar–and into leading a creative organization.

How many of us have been involved in a project or organization where people (leaders) keep refining the process and then refining some more, and then they lose sight of the overall goal.

I certainly have seen this in business. And in church work. And in non-profit work.

What’s the goal?

Usually it concerns wowing the customer with a product whose quality and timeliness goes far beyond customer expectations. 

Didn’t we just see Toyota do that recently when they took the eye off the goal of pleasing customers?

How many Albert “Chainsaw Al” Dunlaps have you seen trying to cut a company to prosperity? This “Rambo in Pinstripes” destroyed Scott Paper, Sunbeam, and who knows how many other by his terrible management.

A leader works tirelessly to assure everyone affiliated with the company or organization or committee is firmly focused on the end goal. They never forget whom they are serving and what quality consists of.

Another part of what Catmul is talking about is fostering new ideas. Don’t let the process drown out creativity.

I recommend this book for leaders and creative types (who should be all of us).

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One Response to “Making Process Better But Destroying Goals–Leadership Lesson”

  1. bahago Says:

    Reblogged this on bahagonuhu.

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