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Process is the Foundation for Agility/Nimbleness

By: Dave Brock


Men drawing a red process diagram on white board

We want to be flexible, nimble, able to adapt to the circumstances, leap on an opportunity, respond quickly. We abhor process since that constrains our creativity and ability to innovate.

Too often, when I talk to leaders and sales people about process, they cite some of the things outlined above as the reason they don’t want process.

The reality, is they don’t understand agile, lean, nimbleness. They mistake random reactions/responses for being agile, when they are about the furthest thing from agile and lean possible.

In reality everything in agile and lean is based on deep understanding of process. Process provides a context in which to evaluate everything and determine the best response. Organizations that are truly agile start from a strong process base.

Agile, nimble, and adaptive organizations always come from a strong process orientation. They recognize process provides the basis for understanding and evaluating everything. It doesn’t constrain our ability to be creative and innovative, but provides the starting point for systematic, sustainable innovation.

Process actually frees us up to be innovative and creative. It provides us a framework and models in which we can assess opportunities, alternatives. It enables us to adapt in meaningful ways, doing so purposefully, rather than just reacting or responding aimlessly.

Process provides us the basis for evaluating innovation, for moving forward, learning and improving.

Too often, people position process and agile/lean as at odds with each other, they suggest, “Do you want to be driven by the process, or creative/innovative?” It’s really a false choice posed by people who don’t understand leveraging agile/lean principles for innovation, change and improvement.

Published: February 27, 2020

Source: Partners in Excellence

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Dave Brock

Dave Brock is the founder of Partners in EXCELLENCE, a consulting and services company helping to improve the effectiveness of business professionals with strategy development, organizational planning, and implementation. Dave has spent his career working for and with high performance organizations, ranging from the Fortune 25 to startups, including companies such as IBM, HP, Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft, General Electric, and many, many more. The work Dave does with business strategies is closely tied to personal effectiveness of the people in the organization. As a result, Dave is deeply involved in the development of a number of training and coaching programs.

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