Trust The Process, Not Your Gut Instincts!

Posted by on May 2, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A process is defined as a series of steps taken in order to accomplish a particular end.  We all have processes we follow every day — getting up and getting ready for work, making a pot of coffee, taking the dog for a walk, cleaning up, and doing dishes after a meal — these are processes we typically execute with very little thought.  But it is surprising how few people can actually articulate what a good process looks like.

People are generally quite poor at explaining how they go about making a high-quality decision, solving a problem, or making an improvement to their business processes.  Rather than use a process, they often jump to brainstorming solutions, quick fixes, or snap decisions without thinking through the issues and understanding root causes.  Even C-level executives — who are literally full-time problem-solvers and decision-makers — when asked to explain their process, say that “Ultimately, I trust my gut!”

It’s not that using your gut can’t help you make a great decision or solve a problem.  It could.  But you can’t know whether that is a case of a broken clock being right twice a day or whether your gut is a fine-tuned decision-maker or problem solver because your gut is a black box.  All you can see is the output of your gut.  You can’t go back and examine how your gut arrived at a decision or solution.  You can’t look into your gut to know how it’s operating.  Your gut is unique to you, and you can’t teach your gut to someone else.  You can’t even be sure that you’re using your gut the same way each time.  No matter how much experience or past success you’ve had, your gut is not a good tool to use.

It’s important to have high-quality processes for making decisions, solving problems, or making improvements.  You need a framework for thinking about how to improve your decisions and problem-solving capabilities, as well as a set of tools for executing that framework so you can achieve your goals.

So what makes for a good tool to help you execute the framework?  A tool is a device you can use to carry out a particular function.  A hammer is a tool for driving nails.  A wrench is a tool used to loosen or tighten bolts.  There is an elegant simplicity to performing tasks if you have the right tool for the right job.

Good tools and processes have the following characteristics:

  • A good tool or process can be reliably repeated.  If you use the same tool or process in the same way, you would expect to get the same results.
  • The proper way to use a good tool or process can be taught to another person such that they could reliably use the same tool/process for the same purpose.
  • After you’ve used a tool or process, you can look back and examine whether you used it properly or not, and so can others.

Your gut — no matter how much experience or past success you’ve had — is not really a decision, problem-solving tool/process!


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