Process Over Results

Dr Dave Alred MBE, Johnny Wilkinson’s internationally renowned kicking coach once said to me, “If you want to learn how to kick a ball then kick a ball!”

So OK - that’s sport and this is business - but is there really any difference? Well it’s great advice for starters because to secure any sort of a result - in sport, business, pretty much whatever we’re involved with - we’re going to have to take action and probably decisive action at that.

How often though do we see people taking action that’s not well thought through or even thought about at all? They see the result they want for sure, yet they don’t consider how they will achieve it - they don’t consider the structure of a process that will work best for them!

Knowing WHAT we want to achieve can be hard enough but once we know that the next questions we need to answer are always about the HOW. How are we going to achieve it? Who needs to be involved? In what order do things need to be auctioned? What levels of activity are required? When do we need to start? What is the process? These and many other questions like it will help build a plan for success that is based on reality and fact rather than hope and supposition.

Effectively, looking at planning in this way means the result represents nothing more than a by-product of the actions we take. For sure, we can all use a little luck sometimes but we can’t count on that. What we must have a plan and a process that we know - on balance - will deliver the results we want.

Having a plan means we always know where we are in the process and when we add measurement and keep records, we can analyse and isolate parts of the process and decide if they need improvement or perhaps changing altogether. It helps everybody; the sales person in achieving their sales targets and the sales manager in supporting his sales team in managing, auditing and developing their skills and competencies.

A manager of mine once said, “Whatever you do Jon, do something” meaning that any action was better than none. However, superior results will always be delivered by the potent combination of massive action combined with a defined process and a well-thought out plan.