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The Process Blade

Process is the final blade of the Windmill Theory within Powered By Change (PBC). Within business, process is typically defined as the way of doing something that is often detailed in an operational or manual outlining the steps involved. When viewed from this perspective it could be viewed as being quite a boring and dry topic. However, in PBC the meaning attributed to process is quite different and distinct from the traditional business connotation. It is much more profound. In the context of PBC, the Process blade refers to how everything within all four blades are linked together. This is the reason for Process being a distinct blade on its own rather than inherently incorporated separately within each of the other blades. Process fundamentally represents the DNA of how an organisation operates. 

The reason Process is so important is that without it none of the other blades will work properly without a set of processes. In fact, without it the Windmill Theory would simply fall apart as it needs the enabling processes to support it. If the Process blade is not effective or ignored then the potential benefits achievable through the other blades will be suboptimal. Meaning the company will not perform as effectively as it could. This is akin to leaving money on the table. The Process blade gives consideration to what are the interoperable components of every part of our business and stitches these together. Therefore, it is the glue that holds everything together. This is what is meant by process in PBC and why it is so important to ensure this blade works effectively.

Looking at Process in terms of an interconnected set of frameworks it is possible to realise that without process nothing actually happens. Having an effective process blade provides a number of key benefits, including:

  • Enables the elevation then specification of purpose and the integration of this throughout the company. 
  • Empowers people within the organisation to engage in innovative activities.
  • Provides the mechanisms in which the elevated purpose can be executed through the creation of highly relevant and innovative products. 

All of these things enable a company to adapt, change and grow. Therefore, Process provides the support required for the organisation and underpins everything it does. 

So despite the fact Process could be boring, it’s actually essential. As with the other blades there are again 3 sub-blades, each of which contribute to the effectiveness of Process and are equally important. These are:

  1. Frameworks – ensuring companies have supporting frameworks that are porous, rapid and flexible 
  2. Filtration – identifying whether the activities to which energy is focussed are the best use of resources.
  3. Coordination – ensuring all sub-blades across all of the blades are interoperable.

For the Process blade to be truly effective all three sub-blades need to be considered. Having frameworks that are open, quick and flexible means the ability of an organisation to pivot when change occurs is vital to ongoing success. Likewise, ensuring that the company focuses energy and resources on activities that provide a value that exceeds the energy expended ensures it is utilising those scarce resources effectively. Finally, having all sub-blades working effectively ensures the Windmill is operating at optimal efficiency and that the company is designed for success. Combined these elements enable a company to continue adapting and changing. 

The ramifications of failing to do this can be severe as the way in which the business operates is inefficient. Such inefficiency arises when processes are inflexible, slow and not open. Likewise, it also occurs when the effort required to achieve an outcome does not justify the value received. The outcome of inefficiency is that it takes longer for a company to create a product and take it to market because it is difficult to get things done. One effect is lost productivity and also potentially lost revenue from both failure to launch and opportunity cost. Likewise, inefficiency leads to frustration and can result in disengagement, which also causes productivity losses. Not only does this impact on a company’s bottom line. It also leaves an inefficient company more vulnerable to competitors and the forces of disruption and disintermediation because they are not able to change quickly. 

Within the PBC platform, the tools provided help to identify areas of Process inefficiency so they can be rectified to help design your company for perpetual success. 

Key Takeaways:

  1. In PBC, the Process blade refers to how everything within all four blades is linked together and is fundamentally the DNA of how an organisation operates. 
  2. Process is about ensuring frameworks are porous, rapid and flexible so that when the winds of change are blowing the organisation can easily adapt to those changes. 
  3. Having an effective Process blade helps ensure the company is operating at optimal efficiency and that the company is designed for success, especially in the face of change.

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