“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” –Albert Einstein
With this in mind, I believe that Performance in an organization is the result of People + Processes (the 3 P’s referenced in the title of this post). I like to keep things as simple as possible and that is a necessity if you desire to run a successful business. As Einstein noticed, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be and that is the downfall of many a good business. While it would be interesting to delve into this issue and try to figure out why we do that, it is not an easy task and therefore we will leave that to the psychiatrists.
If you are any type of leadership and/or managerial role in an organization, there are only 2 levers to pull to change performance and those are focusing on the people and/or processes. Time spent in any other area is really a waste of time and energy. If you hire the right people (which is a process) and provide them with clear direction (another process) and outline how the business does and does not work (a whole lot of processes), then you have a chance at attaining your organizational goals. This does not mean you cannot achieve goals if you do not invest time in the 2 P’s but it does mean that the success you have will be short-lived and hard to sustain.
The most challenging part is developing the discipline to focus on these things instead of getting caught up in the busy work, fires (large & small), and other low value activities that can usurp your focus during the course of any given day.
Here are some ideas of how to avoid losing focus:
- Set clear goals and expectations
- Schedule time to work on the 2 P’s each day
- Remember that Performance is the result of the other two so do not focus on that (it will come if the others are addressed)
- Make everything you do as simple as possible (Occam’s Razor)
- Have fun doing it