Do you step through a process as you try to achieve your goals?
Or do you make a series of inter-related decisions in getting to the goal?
Your answer will determine your approach to optimizing your activities as you navigate a complex, dynamic environment on your way to your goals. If you are thinking of your activities in terms of a process, you are likely to be more set in your approach. After all, processes are a set of pre-defined activities that you expect to stay consistent for some period of time. Yes, processes will evolve and improve over time – but not right away. What are the chances that you are following an outdated process?
A decision-centric approach recognizes that there are choices to be made in every activity – and that each choice has to be informed by insight. The insight could be subject matter expertise, a business policy or an algorithm mined via advanced analytics. This is where there is the most scope for improvement – both in terms of sophistication and experimentation, and in terms of the speed of change.
So, you still need to act – possibly in a pre-defined series of activities bundled into a ‘process’ – but you need to shift your focus to the series of decisions that show up at every turn. That is how you stay agile and become smarter, embedding insights from your experts and from your data into your business operations.