“Profit comes when the job is done right.” This idea came up during a discussion with a friend of mine about facilitating a paradigm shift at work. When a company is focused on profit, project centricity becomes primary. This is natural as project management is critical to managing earned value in the quest to maximize profit. The thing is project management is not the only critical thing. When the project is the focus complex issues arise that are not readily solvable. Product quality can suffer due to driving personnel ruthlessly in the quest to maintain efficiency. Process consistency can also suffer due to driving personnel to be more effective with as little waste as possible. A business is a complex system comprised of people, processes, product and projects. Without these legs the pedestal of profit doesn’t have anything to rest on. In a similar fashion complex issues arise if either process, people or product is the focus of the company.
Herein lies the shift in thinking. Profit emerges from people collaborating in manners balancing project, product and process constraints or needs. Being efficient doesn’t get you there. Focusing on being effective doesn’t get you there. Developing and maintaining awareness of the drivers of success enables companies to create their vision. If there is a center of success it’s a vision everyone shares and gets behind. Without vision, the drivers of people, process, product and process compete for energy and resources and ultimately undermine each other. From vision comes strategic objectives and tactical goals. Attempting to create goals or objectives without vision is like driving backwards. It will get you moving but has inherent issues which may very well prevent you from going anywhere. Furthermore, having a vision enables the organization to learn, adapt and move on from difficult instead of spinning in the unsolvable mysteries when projects, process, product or people are at the center of the paradigm.
What does this have to do with the business of you? Happiness, success, health and wealth emerge from managing the resources available in our lives. Attention, attitude and action are the fundamental drivers of our health, wealth, pleasure and spirit. These latter things we can not control directly. We influence them through our self-reliance which is born out of our self-control, self-awareness, situational awareness and situational acceptance. These are in turn are directly influenced with our choice of how to divvy up our attention, action and attitude. The choice on how we manager our fundamental resources is directly impacted by our vision for our life both in the short and long-term. Our vision of what we are and what we truly want to become is the foundation of creating power and allowing us to adapt to our ever-changing world. Power like profit comes from doing the job right. Our job is to apply our attention, action and attitude in ways that create our vision and only we can hold ourselves accountable to make it happen.