It’s an age-old conundrum: should you focus on process or results? Process is how stuff gets done. Results are what need to get done.
Some leaders are intensively results-focused. Hit the number! Everything comes back to the number. People aren’t allowed to forget about the number. As a result, in many cases, the number gets hit. Yet in other cases, the number doesn’t get hit and it’s not clear how you manage towards the number.
Some leaders are painstakingly process-focused. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about results, it means that to get the results they’re continually trying to determine and control how. That’s process. Leaders who focus on process often hit the number and are in a better position to know why and to replicate it. On the other hand, I’ve seen leaders who are so process-focused that the target is allowed to keep slipping back because the process isn’t quite right.
So what’s the answer? Results-driven and process-focused. In this time of big data and analytics, it’s irresponsible not to try to understand the variables upstream of results and to influence them. Yet process for process sake is simply activity. There needs to be a continual positive pressure to get the results.
Drive for results. And focus on process.