Embracing the Cliché

I read recently that “process has become a cliché: what value the idea once had has been destroyed by its overuse.”

Really? I disagree.

What is cliché, anyway? I found one definition describing it as a metaphor characterized by its overuse. Another said that it’s a very predictable and unoriginal thing or person.

Fine. So it’s an over-used term. It’s predictable and unoriginal. I’m not arguing – in fact, a good process is entirely predictable, and process by definition is unoriginal because you do the same thing over and over. Seems to be circular reasoning to me, all in support of moving away from something which is proven to have multiple benefits.

Don’t Be an Ageist

Take a look at these clichés for instance:

  • What gets measured gets done.
  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • The customer is always right.
  • You’ll never know until you try.

Are they wrong? No. No, they’re not. They’re old sayings that stand the test of time. I say, exalt them! Use them! Run them up the flagpole and see who salutes! (See what I did there? Now THAT is an overused business buzz phrase if I ever heard one.)

Pardon Me While I Freshen Up

Let’s look at a couple of those “clichés”. “What gets measured gets done” is a classic catchphrase, cliché if you must, for process geeks everywhere. Why? Because it is 100% true that if you do not identify the key metrics that describe the health of your business, then there will be no focus on those metrics, and no one will be accountable for their performance. If you happen succeed anyway, it will be more good luck than good management.

Is the customer always right? Yes. Should you measure what the customer is thinking, even if you have little impact on customer perception in your role/team/department? Absolutely. Because you always have an impact. If not directly on a customer, then on someone else who does. This means that your processes must consider the customer perception everywhere in your business, not just in direct customer-facing areas.

The concept of process isn’t clichéd. The fact is, it’s more important than ever. From design to production to delivery to administration – you can not over stress the importance of efficient processes to the success of your business. It’s time to freshen up your processes and give them a makeover to ensure they are still relevant to your business. Click to Tweet.

Embrace the cliché. Think outside the box. It’s a win-win! At the end of the day, it’s still the right thing to do.

Until next week,

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Until next week,

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