People not Processes

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I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

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People not Processes

posted this on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at about 10pm.
Coldplay Fix You

I have focused my career on finding improvements in processes. No matter what job I’ve held, I’ve always gravitated towards identifying problems and then figuring out a way to make them go away.

I first realized that I had this talent better than 15 years ago as I helped a client of mine streamline their shipping procedures saving them $1,000s each month.

Whether running a design shop, selling office equipment, working as a consultant, managing a sales team or running my company, I’ve found that I always gravitate towards fixing problems.

I’m inclined to think that one of the key reasons we’ve seen the success we have is because I’ve always identified ways that we can improve and then I work hard to make sure that we fix those problems.

Because of my propensity to fix problems, I have a tendency to ignore the people aspect of business. I seem to forget that I can’t fix people problems in the same way I can fix technical or business processes. In fact, very often, the problems in technical or business processes are people related and when I try to apply the same approach, I find that I fail more often than I succeed.

I know that part of this comes from the fact that I’m a bit of a stereotypical man trying to solve world hunger in one fell swoop. However, I think for me, I’m a bit more persistent at trying to solve problems than most.

Sometimes I’m reminded of this failing because of the problems it can cause. Usually the problems manifest themselves as people getting angry with me. Sometimes people are more patient with me than I deserve and they help lead me to realize my failing.

I am very fortunate that I have such a great team behind me. They help to remind me that no matter how important processes are, the people behind those processes are more important.

When I step back and look at things from the outside, I have the ability to remember. In fact, when I think about this intellectually, I know what’s right. I know that I’ll probably never be great at focusing on people before processes like I should but hopefully I’ll be able to keep surrounding myself with people that can continue to deal with me with patience.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Design & Marketing Agency.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

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