Process is never the goal

Process is a means to an end, the Yellow Brick Road on the journey to Oz.

Photo by Melissa Bent

I’ve been mistaken for a process person before — more times than I care to count.

And it’s true – I’m good at process. I can be pretty religious about it, actually. My mantra is simple: If your work requires recurring activity, for goodness’ sake, save yourself some gray hairs and make a process for it. It clears the way for creativity and innovation by providing margin to discover without the pressure of producing.

I’ve had to become good at process because for so much of my career, I’ve been faced with widget-making at scale. Translation: Lots of repetition. And, if there’s one thing I hate to waste time on, it’s repetition. There’s a reason for the saying, Work smarter, not harder.

So I put in the time upfront to smooth out a process and get that repetitive stuff out of the way – all to free me (and others) up to do the more strategic stuff – the fun stuff.

The way I look at it, process is the foundation for building something strong and enduring. It’s a means to an end, the Yellow Brick Road on the journey to Oz.

The road, however, shouldn’t be confused with the journey. The road is what we must travel to get from point A to point B. The journey – for all its struggle, getting lost and finding our way again – lies in how we face what we encounter along the way and, ultimately, the end result.

6 thoughts on “Process is never the goal

  1. Wonderful post..would sure love to have you as a client!! So often i have found that people in that position confuse the process of DEFINITION of the WHAT with their own personal concept of HOW it gets accomplished. This often stifles the creative process of the team at hand. Great thoughts Nydia, enjoyed the clarity and vision.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a college teacher of writing, I am always emphasizing the process. I am more interested in groups of students discussing a writing prompt or a task or an idea and going deep into it rather than simply “getting something done to turn in” which was what my education ended up being about most of the time. But then the process, repeated over time, gets easier and easier, making a smoother journey to the product.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! That’s the point – it supports a better product in the end, I think. Not to devalue the process at all – rather, it’s fundamental to good creative work. So “getting it down” is the first, critical step. I might’ve added that process is not the goal…except when it is. 😉

      Thanks for dropping by, Gwen!


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