Result-Oriented Business vs Process-Oriented Business

In Japan, ‘Sumo’ is recognized as a national wrestling game.   It is considered as one of the important games in the world, which is practiced professionally with tradition. Like all other games, this game is also offering a great deal of money and prizes to the winners. But what makes it differentiates from others is, in addition to the winners, three additional prizes are announced for the top performers. The three prizes are outstanding performance, fighting spirit and technique prize. The lessons that we can learn from this approach is ‘process-oriented thinking’.

We are living in a result-oriented life. A student’s performance is measured by his marks (results), an employee’s performance is measured by his promotion or salary (results), a business’ performance is measured by its profit (result). Though, the above results are mandatory to show others that you are winning, what more important is success. There is a huge difference between Success and Winning in Business as well as one’s life. In order to get success, one must change his or her thinking from winning to succeeding, In Business, it is from result-oriented thinking to process-oriented thinking. 

Instead of marks at the end of the course (results), you can measure a student’s performance from many factors such as attendance records, early reading proficiency, enrolment levels in key courses, participation in class works etc. (processes) which will exhibit the trend of a student’s learning process. This process approach helps a teacher to correct his performance before exam. Similarly, by focusing on sales man’s behaviour with customers, response to the questionnaires, negotiation process and building trust with others can help him winning the deal. While selecting a cricket team, a batsman’s performance is seen through his strike rate and not by 50s and 100s and a bowler’s performance is measured by his economic rate and wicket per balls.

Suggestions to migrate from result-oriented thinking to process-oriented thinking:

  1. Identify the key process in your business
    • For example – No. of sales orders
  2. Write down the Objectives to be achieved in the process
  3. Identify the steps involved in achieving the objectives
    1. For example, getting sales orders from customers,
      • Product demo to be shown to many customers
      • Meeting new customers every day
    2. Select one objective for each step
      1. For product demo – No. of products demo shown to the visiting customers in the shop by a sales man
      2. Meeting new customers – No. of people outside of the shop contacted and informed about the product
  4. Collect data for the objectives
  5. Measure it every day or week to correct the process
  6. Achieve the objectives set by you

The benefits of process-oriented thinking in the business come gradually, and its effects are felt only on a long-term basis.  Unless an organization is determined to introduce process-oriented thinking as its top priority, the achievements would be temporary.