Shift Perspective 90 Degrees

Shift Perspective 90 Degrees

Managing in a process-centered organization calls for a new mindset. We’re dealing with work from a different slant. It’s no longer simply a vertical, top-down, task specific exercise. Management now involves broad spectrum responsibility for facilitating the flow of work from left to right. The old north to south style of management is too one-dimensional. Too localized. A process focus means our perspective must swing around such that we’re mainly thinking west to east...all the way across the company.

Now you’re managing sideways. And it’s a very different drill.

Just as a 90o shift in wind direction announces the arrival of a new weather pattern, this quarter-circle turn on the management dial tells us we’re changing the way we deal with work. Fundamentally. When we make the simple shift in focus from tasks to processes, it profoundly affects our perspective on how we do business. The different departments or functions stop operating as silos. We quit thinking of individual tasks in a singular and disconnected manner. Instead, we consider the overall collection of tasks-that is, the process-that’s involved in producing an end result.

The old approach had us looking at our duties in a narrow-banded way, like a snapshot focused purely on our particular department or function. The rest of the organization was left out of the picture. People just paid attention to what they personally did. They didn’t concentrate on process outcomes. As a result, there was a disconnect with the customer...