The crux of any business lies in three fundamental aspects: People, Processes, and Situations.
Processes can be defined as sequences of tasks undertaken by people or machines. They can range from simple step-by-step tasks like baking cookies using pre-mixed ingredients, to complex endeavors such as a manned lunar mission. While the former progresses in a straightforward chronological order, the latter involves multiple tasks occurring simultaneously or interactively, requiring real-time adjustments. Regardless of their simplicity or complexity, these processes can be performed in either a planned or unplanned manner, reflecting the spectrum of challenges that they present.
Now, let’s turn to the people element. The concept of ‘people’ is both simple and complex. At a basic level, ‘people’ refers to individuals like you and me, but each of us is unique, bringing our distinct attributes to the table. It’s essential to distinguish between assuming and concluding when describing people. For example, personality assessments can be directionally correct but fall far short of presenting complete descriptions of individuals. When thinking about other people’s abilities, assumptions can be misleading. Bearing that limitation in mind, conclusions drawn after careful assessment can be invaluable in understanding and influencing people. This expanded consideration is the thinking required to bridge people and processes.
That old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” provides a vital piece of wisdom. Our success in business depends significantly on how we lead people to that metaphorical ‘water.’
‘Bringing Process to People’ is an integral part of this dynamic. It primarily involves delegation – the transfer of authority and decision-making power from one person to another. Delegation serves as the driving force behind business operations. Though often underestimated, mastering the art of delegation can significantly enhance the effectiveness of business operations. It’s not merely about assigning tasks; it’s about transferring decision-making processes to individuals, either directly or via communication tools.
However, delegation isn’t the sole conduit through which businesses connect people with processes. We have many tools that we can place in our toolkit, ranging from basic equipment like monitors and wrenches to sophisticated software solutions, online platforms, and cutting-edge artificial intelligence (“AI”) technologies. We must continuously innovate as we add tools to our toolkit.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
AI, in particular, has emerged as a pivotal tool that can significantly enhance work performance and facilitate delegation. About AI
By automating repetitive tasks, providing insightful data analytics, or even assisting in decision-making processes, AI can significantly reduce the workload on individuals and improve efficiency. Whether it’s through advanced AI algorithms that automate tasks and aid in data processing, or intelligent assistants that manage schedules and resources, AI technologies are transforming the way we work.
Moreover, AI can learn and adapt over time, providing an increasingly valuable resource for businesses. AI’s ability to learn from data and predict future trends can be leveraged to make strategic business decisions, fostering a more proactive and dynamic business environment. Of course, AI doesn’t learn as humans learn; AI simulates human learning.
The point is, AI when used properly as a tool can deliver value to human’s decision making, delegation of tasks, and performance of tasks. Tools – including AI – provide planned links between processes and people, enabling a seamless and more efficient execution of tasks. Thus, the incorporation of AI in businesses does not only enhance productivity but also enables the ever-evolving synergy of people, processes, and technological innovation.
In essence, when we delegate, we bring the future work process to people, setting expectations and transferring responsibility and accountability. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to design clear work processes and even fewer design effective delegation techniques. For example, Canadian businesses could benefit significantly from investing more time in improving these areas to inspire action, influence people, and enhance business growth. After all, influencing people through delegation of tasks is the lifeblood of business operations, driving implementation of all decision-making processes.
To ensure our Canadian businesses thrive, we must demonstrate our commitment to improving and innovating our decision-making engines, utilizing a variety of tools to keep our operations smooth and efficient.
By blending people, processes, and situations harmoniously, we create the perfect recipe for business success.