Everything is a Process


I was early in my career when I blurted to our CTO over lunch, “There are too many processes! We’re a startup…we should move more fluidly. I work better without a process!” With many years of experience on me, he responded, “Sam, everything is a process. Even when you don’t think there isn’t one.”

That was only one of a few memories that stuck with me after working blurry hours at a dot com in San Francisco many years ago. Why did this stick? Because it changed my paradigm. And it was true.

What’s more, this realization is actually liberating…even for creative-types. Reason: if it’s a process, it can be broken down, measured and improved. If it can be improved, it can get better. Therefore, those who apply a process to improve their processes will win. That’s simply work…and doesn’t require brilliance. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

For example, let’s consider the job of a copywriter….and take a creative process of coming up with a headline. At a high level you might brainstorm to come up with the unique selling proposition. Then apply a framework to discover impactful word combinations. Come up with a long list. Have a process of whittling them down to a few key ideas. Test them in some way. Finalize and test results on the top 2-3. Within that process you might also retain the expertise of others, have better methods of testing what will work best, and improve efficiency of the entire process with online tools.

And that is painting this process with a broad brush. Think about all the seemingly ‘intangibles’ activities that can be broken down and improved.

Apply this to every part of your business, make it part of the culture, and measure your way to success.

One Response

  1. Mike Cook says:

    Hi Sam,
    As an Information Systems student I learned about processes all the time. As as a programmer well I need not say more. But, when I really realized what you are talking about is when I noticed my wife and I always did things totally different and I would say “Why are you doing it that way”. I found myself saying it a little too much and finally like a ton of bricks it hit or was it a slap in my face, ha ha. Youre correct, everyone does things differently!
    I soon realized it really did matter how things are done (the process) unless safety and money were involved. Yes, efficiencies. I got into process mapping to create smooth running business systems. I found myself decomposing systems and re-designing them to make them more efficient. THEN MY MASTER PIECE…I developed The Mandura System of Duplication” A simple way of making money.
    Yes, everything is a process and when you can create a simple process of duplication especially if it is one where people can make money, you help everyone involved. I love teaching and supporting my new mandura system of duplication. Come on by if you have a chance and check it out.

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