Accelerating Process Culture

It seems like distant past when big companies rely on individual heroes to facilitate process initiatives. They are long-service employees who became the experts of how things and processes work in the company. They are always consulted because of their inherent authority– business owners and managers listen to them. Think about them as company elders and gurus whom we seek advice from when things go wrong and consulted whenever changes are planned.  

When a company relies and is solely dependent on its individual heroes for change and process enhancement, it is on its 1st level of process culture maturity.

Process Maturity Levels

The second stage of process culture maturity is the Diverse Approach.  This is when the company starts to utilize standard methods and best practices to drive process design and innovation. Oftentimes at this stage, different areas in the organization implore varying approaches and therefore, less synergy is achieved. Standard operating procedures (SOP) start to shape in each department and documentation becomes an integral part of process implementation. In many cases, at this point, IT and business approaches tend to clash and technology becomes the focus of project implementation.

Companies move up to the Model Integration stage when it builds more synergies throughout the organization. Very successful multinational companies such as P&G, CEMEX, and ING DIRECT take advantage of Model Integration by consolidating functions and developing its shared services. P&G, for example, has established Global Business Services (GBS) — a shared service organization that provides the company a platform for continuous global growth while maintaining values of innovation, service, customer responsiveness and business efficiency. Companies at this level adapt a consolidated method to design and implement business models using standard processes and tools. The project team discipline ultimately improves as management breaks silos and approaches process and technology implementation equally.  The common tendency is for companies to establish global standards and to consolidate both IT infrastructure and human resources, thereby reducing cost of operations.

The final step to Process Culture Maturity occurs when innovation and change in business practices through process understanding are consistently promoted within the company. When executives passionately embrace process thinking, they are able to promote innovation more confidently when implementing new technologies.

Many organizations have gone a long way from the days when company individual heroes were the sole initiators of change and process innovation.  Yet it’s difficult to predict what comes next — as technology evolves, industries consolidate, and Web 2.0 quickly becoming the new platform.

12 thoughts on “Accelerating Process Culture

  1. Hi Glenn, interesting to see this article.
    I’m amazed on how with your experience and your surroundings you have keep always the eyes open to see beyond the trees…..

    Is a honor know you and to read your articles.

    I’ll be looking forward for the next !


    Thanks Alberto!

    It’s fun to write and share about things you like and do. I am enjoying it.


  2. very good glenn! A++

    To add, Instill continuous process improvement as a lifetime cycle.
    Everything will be outdated – the challenge is how we can cope to change.

  3. Pre,

    I just arrived home, prior to hitting my bed I usually check my mails first, to see if there is something urgent that may require my attention. Since there is none, I’m now reading your blog. Yeah, I’m reading it in my bb. I must admit I’m a bb slave! Well, guess what? I’m actually responding using my bb as well, just to see how it works.

    Now, on this subject, what you refer to as “Oracles” I refer to as “Jedi’s”.

    Let me tell you a story about a long-time business process consultant friend of mine called Padawan. One day, he was so excited and with high-gear enthusiasm he approached the Jedi Council to present his new process improvement proposal. After a couple of hours of powerpoint presentations, the Jedi’s just looked at him from head to toe and said, “You are not yet a Jedi, Padawan!” With his head bowed-down and an extinguished spirit, he walked along the correigdor. There he bumped-off the then Sith (Senior IT Honcho) from the dark side (i.e. the people under the stairs, the dwellers of the underworld, the people who live in the dark room called the Datacenter) and chatted with him about how technology could leverage his proposed process improvement. Along the conversation, the Sith would give him a hint to move to the dark-side and bring balance to the force.

    Padawan is not that stupid as what the Jedi’s originally thought he was, so with an outpour of rage he said, “WTF! You want me to improve the process in the Datacenter? Are you guys insane? That’s not possible even with inter-gallactic technology!”

    The next day, Padawan quit his job as a Jedi apprentice, sent a good-bye note thru LN (informing everybody that they can still contact him through his hotmail account), and then joined a stronger and well- structured-process-oriented force called USANA!

    Now, Padawan only works 4 hours a week and was last seen dancing tango and popping champaigne at the constellation of Perseus – so watch-out the meteor showers tomorrow ok!


    Hi Rom,

    Your padawan has seen the light my friend. Good for him!
    I saw the website about your group Climax. Cool man. I am not into outdoor activities. Let me know how I can help your group’s cause.


  4. Hola

    I agree with Process Culture Maturity. Integration is the key to wide business and big companies, still even in this modern age I believe the Oracles/Jedi/Prophets or what have you are still critical persons in an organization. No matter how structured or centralized an organization is, there will always be those prominent and wise few that others will follow and gives co-workers invaluable counsel.

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