When I used to teach tennis lessons to adults, their main motivation for taking lessons was to simply “hit the ball better”. It was achieving the feeling of hitting a clean ball in the direction they were intending. This was very puzzling to me. This was puzzling because the last I checked, the point of playing a match in tennis was to win. I have played countless tennis matches where I certainly hit the ball better than my opponent, but they ended up beating me. Hitting to ball to actually win a point is very much different than hitting a ball to hit it clean.
Management in our workplaces today does just the same. The concern is all too often on becoming more efficient or eliminating waste. It’s about how to get more productivity or getting people to adhere to optimal processes and procedures. But step back for a moment and ask, what is the point? If you say that the point of what you’re doing is to make money, then you either need to find a new company to work for or take a hard look in the mirror.
The point of management is about delivering results. It is about helping customers. It is about making a difference in customer’s lives as well as those you work with. Sure, something may not be the most efficient way of doing things, but if it makes a genuine difference, then it’s worth doing. Quit putting up with companies that suck the life out of you. That kind of organizational experience isn’t worth it.
The process is a key part of the joy, but a process that doesn’t produce the meaningful results is demoralizing . Manage people so that they can deliver on the real point, not to just “hit the ball better”. In the end, the person focused on the right results will end up winning.