What’s the “Process” That Builds Success?

To address the challenges and opportunities occurring in the healthcare industry, leaders must be prepared and able to operationalize the requirements for change in order to avoid being disrupted. For many organizations, preparedness begins at the top and this means that leadership—across all levels—must have clarity in purpose and focus. Also necessary: An alignment in strategy and goals.

History shows that most companies are unable to mount the necessary change required to adapt. Organizational complexity, culture, operational silos, and previous industry success all make major adaptations challenging because a strategic response requires a consensus view that is difficult to achieve quickly. For most companies this can only happen when facing a crisis—and typically when it is too late.

Leadership today equals leading, managing and constantly adapting to change. One method of driving change management that I have noticed increasingly used in the context of sports is known as the “Process.” Leaders of organizations such as Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, and University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban all reference using the “Process.” Epstein has rebuilt the “lovable losers” in record time and has them on track for sustained winning on the North Side of Chicago. Under Saban, one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, Alabama has won three BCS championships in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and the SEC title
last year.

Make The Process Work for You

The “Process” takes center stage in the book, by Monte Burke Saban: The Making of a Coach. It is a simple way of breaking down a difficult situation into manageable pieces. Saban had an interest in psychology and wanted to incorporate an understanding of how the mind works into his coaching style. He soon developed a relationship with a Michigan State psychiatry professor, Lionel Rosen. Rosen taught the Michigan State Spartans a form of step-by-step thinking developed by cognitive therapy pioneer Aaron Beck.

Many of the concepts Saban discusses in his “Process” are very relevant to day-to-day life, business and leadership. The “Process” focuses on the steps required for success—rather than focusing on the end result. The emphasis is on being responsible for your own self-determination, having a positive attitude, a great work ethic, and the discipline to be able to execute on a consistent basis. It’s the “Process” of what it takes to be successful, which applies to all aspects of life.

As it relates to leadership, change management and managing disruption in your organization, the more focus placed on establishing a foundation, culture and attitude for success, the greater likelihood there will be a positive outcome in the end. When driving large scale change it can be easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the big picture rather than focusing on the steps needed for success.

If you are being asked to lead change and need some inspiration you can look to two leaders in the sports field, and for your next large initiative ask yourself, “What’s the process?”

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