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Posted Jan 13

Drive for results

by Luc Groulx
Drive for results by Luc Groulx

"Results-driven" is a great term.

 

It speaks to a person's ability to create momentum based on their ultimate goal of getting things done. Arriving at a finish line takes a lot of effort, focus, and hard (or smart) work.

 

But what is involved in defining oneself as being results-driven?

 

Process-oriented

What does the task mean? What will happen on the way to get there? How does it feel if I do it? Those may be the questions we ask internally if we adopt this mindset. The problem: if you don’t feel good doing the necessary things, you might not give the best you could. This could lead to always trying to go the easy way and to avoid the tougher but sometimes necessary ways.

 

Result-oriented

How can I achieve this? What do I have to do now to get there? How does getting the result feel?  If you think result-oriented, you tend to see the end in your mind, and you are looking for the fastest way to get there. You want to have the result; this means that you become much more focused on actions flowing towards the result.

 

When focused on results, one combines the processes with skills and must consider its advantages.

 

Flexibility

The basic difference is the process versus result orientation. If you think in results, the way to get there is not that important. What matters is the result itself. This means that your way to get things done stays very flexible. If approach one did not work, it doesn’t matter much! The approach was not important, the result is. So, we just change the approach to a better one. We don’t get stuck in a process or even in the thick of processes.

 

Flexibility is one major advantage in the result-oriented mindset.

 

Drive to action

Another even more important one is the drive to action. If you want the result you usually want it now. This produces a lot of potential energy to invest into the actions leading to the result. What I experience is that the anticipation of the result is what makes the process enjoyable, even if the task in itself, is pretty boring.

 

To achieve results, keep the teams motivated, maximise throughput, consider what is working, what is not, how to course correct in real-time in order to mitigate risk and achieve the desired outcome.

 

Neglecting best practices

Is faster better? Is less really that much more? For one, with little to no processes in place and so focused on reaching the end goal you may avoid the “best” ways to get things done, or the “easiest and fastest” way to get things done. Ask yourself, how do you manage “best practices”? How do you even enforce best practices if your company is result-oriented? I’m sure organisations that are so result focused tend to have ethical issues.  Depending on the consequences of taking the ladder approach and neglecting the best practices may come back to haunt you. Best practices are usually found in the employee handbook, although, it still may not actually be the reality of the business culture. Best practices also include regulations, policies, and laws that need to be followed. I’m sure you can imagine the consequences associated with following and not following best business practices. With that, the easy path is not always the best road you want to take.

 

Measurable factors

How do you measure setbacks? If you are result-oriented how do you measure your setbacks, errors, complications? How can you improve if you don’t know what part of your plan worked and what didn’t? What if you operate at a bigger scale? How do you measure the obstacles of your team members if they are all doing things differently? You lose consistency and therefore lose the ability to measure results.

 

Risk

How do you measure risk? How do you not repeat the errors you made in the past? How do you look back and track how you got to where you are and create improvements? A process provides a road map, very much like a GPS. Being focused on results, you lose understanding of why some processes were in place, leaving room for important items to be considered, looked at, and actioned. There is risk in only focusing on the end, as you lose sight of the different hurdles, setbacks, and obstacles that may arise in reaching your end goal.

 

Although key to improvement, postmortems should only be used to learn and grow. It is sometimes better to focus on improving the current and future state than trying to sort and get hung up were obstacles were encountered in the past. Use those obstacles to grow, to refine and optimise your team. Ultimately, this will lead to one outcome: motivated individuals from the top down.

 

A few more factors to consider:

 

What are the results you are trying to achieve?

 

Is there a need for a process to be in place in order to successfully reach the goal?

 

Do you think processes are holding back the level of efficiency to reach the goals?

 

Is there a need for risk, performance, consistency to be measured?

 

Overall, it’s important to keep the end in mind. But the path to getting there should enhance achieving the goal, not postpone it. Processes are intended to provide structure. Although too much structure can be damaging and mask the end goal, I have often seen results-oriented individuals working with process-oriented people and they balance each other out. The result-oriented individual sets a goal, while the process-oriented individual considers the risks, consequences, and measures the steps to achieve the goal. - thefocus.com

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