Imagine a world without traffic lights.

Will it bring down the sky, no it will not.
Will it stop the people transportation process, no it will not.
Will it be the “end of days” for the gas emissions, no it will not.

So when nothing seems to yes in the statements above so why this hype about the Process Automation and Excellence business and how that is related to the traffic lights.

In this world of ever changing business dynamics, traffic lights act as guide posts for standardization, regulation, structuring, monitoring and accountability of human flow management (HFM) . Without them the HFM will still happen but with delays, accidents leading to damages (physical as well a mental) and complete chaos.

I look at process automation as traffic lights to contain the organizational chaos. They help design, document, administer, execute, monitor and control processes, people and transactions.

Quite a long sentence and quite a big task at hand but this is the only bridge that leads to “SURVIVAL” of the organizations in the future and construction of this bridge needs to start now, if the same has not started.

Process Organization is not about blueprints and acronyms but is all about vision, adaptability to change and culture management . You make them your friends and you will find your “Bridge across Forever”.

Some thoughts that i picked from commonsense and some reading that i did with my daughter in her authors and movies club.

Ability to Change (Speed, Innovation and Information):

“They were running hand in hand, and the Queen went so fast that it was all she could do to keep up with her: and still the Queen kept crying Faster! Faster! but Alice felt she could not go faster, thought she had not breath left to say so. The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and the other things round them never changed their places at all: however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything”.

Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass? makes me think about , when Alice meets the Red Queen. They are running and running, but appear to be not reaching anywhere. What comes as a surprise is that with current speed and all the efforts they still will only be able to keep them in the race with the surroundings and they need to run twice as fast to see some changes and reach somewhere ahead of the crowd.

Survival in today’s competitive landscape can have the same dimension. In order to excel and outshine, firms have to manage dynamic changes continuously and consistently, in terms of adopting new business models, launching new products and services, way they service the customers, meeting compliance before it becomes a legal battle….

And to do all this they need to adapt an “Agile Process Tool”, one that has Agility to manage and accommodate changes (internal as well as external), has Process at the epicenter as a guidepost and Tool to make the entire offering more system driven.

Ability to lead and steer through the Human Trap (Command, Empowerment, Culture and Accountability):

My second thoughts come from the greatest war movie The bridge across river Kwai, some might see this movie as one depicting a great war story and yes indeed it is but another perpective that can be applied to the business landscape is how Leadership and human management can lead to significant results, Gen Nicholson’s audacious pursuit to build a bridge with a planned process embedded with rules and his clash of wills with the Japenese General had only one factor leading to success and that was the commitment and contribution that he got from the soldiers, in an organization context too, what drives the difference between success and failure is the ability to plan and execute a process with enough command from the leadership team (involvement), empowerment (user friendly tools) and management of culture (Human behavior and motivation) of resources involved in leading the wave.

Management of culture being significant here as that acts as a game changer, cutural issues don’t surface or get documented but are soft factors that if managed well can lead to building a dream organization, also significant here would be the need to set this process for acceptable culture once as a foundation and have all organizational policies and procedures evolve around that culture.

Ability to amalgamate Jack Welch with Nostrodamus:

Imagine having the execution skills of Jack coupled with vision of Nostradamus, organizations worldwide strive years to get this combination of genetic code only to realize that this might be a mirage they were chasing all the way.

Smart leaders across global competitve organizations have found an answer to this using the “process excellence” model. Here the road to serendipity is driven not by chances but using frameworks that help predict outcomes (Dashboards and Simulation) and usage of automation tools that can help them execute and adapt to journey of continuous improvement.

I still wish the quest continues to create a DNA with the combination of Jack and Nostradamus but till we get there let us focus and strive to use the alternatives to guide through the fast paced, cut throat and ever changing economic ecosystem.

May God help the Titanic organizations of this world, for all others there is still a Process Management Lifeline.

and remember the immortal sentence from the movie Apollo 13 by the Mission Control leader Gene Kranz: Failure is not an option.