Many people copy or follow someone else’s process – hey, it worked for them, right?

In fact, there are bazillions of newsletters, blog posts, books written, and podcasts recorded about the things successful people do – their morning routines, their process for gaining clients, writing a book, or recording a podcast!

I LOVE process – you know that I love a great system, a checklist, a To Do, a morning routine… However, copying, modelling or following someone else’s process might just be killing your progress. Here’s why:

1. You don’t know what their real destination is – yes, they “say” it’s to save the world, bring peace to America, and keep the honey bees happy – but really? Is that their real destination?
2. They probably aren’t great at working out what bits they do that actually make the difference, it might be innate to them and difficult for them to see. My musically gifted other half “just listens to a piece of music and can play it”, so if I want to play should I just listen to music?
3. You can only see the visible bits of their process. You can’t always see the people in the background helping them along the way. The failures and feck ups they’ve fought back from. The 10 experiments they did before settling on this process!

What should you do?
1. Start with the destination, your ‘where’ – I personally don’t like “goals”, unless they’re mini steps on the way to a destination! Where are you going? Where will you be at the end of your life?
2. Work out your ‘why’ – why are you going there? Why are you doing what you’re doing? The real why, not the Angelina Jolie why.
3. Think about some ‘what’s’ on the route. Is your what to raise your profile? Elevate you in a market? Get more clients? Raise awareness for a cause? Write a book?
4. Now play the “5 Whys” or “So what?” game – So you want to write a book.. Or make a podcast… Or get on the telly… So what?
5. Once you have your real destination, work backwards and decide on some ‘hows for now’ – how can you get there? There might be many different routes to the same destination (there almost certainly are). Want to raise your profile? You could write a book, do a TED talk, start a podcast, get interviewed… Select ONE for now, and focus.

‘Hows for now’: When you decide on ‘hows for now’ you can take all the pressure off yourself, you’re just experimenting, trying something out. It’s not permanent. You can change the ‘hows’ to get to your chosen destination.
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6. Now you can create a process or system (or follow someone else’s) to get to that very clear destination, that you have a strong why for reaching, with some interesting whats and hows along the way.
7. Set your constraints – time, money, deadline, milestones – some destinations might be too costly!
8. Measure your results against the destination and the constraints – how will you know if you’re getting closer?
9. Finally, test the process – did it work, would you do something different next time…

Remember, this is all just an experiment, have a little fun!

In Personality Isn’t Permanent, Dr Benjamin Hardy says: ‘Yet it’s impossible to determine a “process,” let alone an effective one, without a goal in mind. Moreover, without regularly measuring your progress and results along the way, it’s impossible to determine if your process is working.’

Take the diagnostic to find out where you are on the path… it’ll help us work out what’s your best destination, route and ‘hows for now’! And you’ll get a 30 page personalised report!


business process, process, systems, systems thinking

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