A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Process Improvement

Scott Francis
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A conversation with a friend went something like this:
Friend: When are your HR folks going to act on “Descriptions will be added soon” Me:  Oh, actually, I think *I’m* the HR person that needs to update the descriptions. Friend: in that case, when will u describe the role of a process improvement consultant? Me: Good question. I wonder if we should describe it on our site or leave it a mystery.
I mean it.  Should we really explain what we want?  If I describe it all would anyone sign up for it? Am I giving away the secret sauce?  Maybe its better to leave it open ended and just describe it as it is: a person with the objective of improving processes.  We then veered into a discussion of roles.  Some of the analysts have proposed roles like the new business process analyst or the roleplay actor. But there’s too much discussion of new jobs and roles to hire for.  We should be focused on developing our people.  Focused on skill, capability, and competency.  Ideally, all three in one person.  Too much focus on a specialist for every niche, rather than on investing  in creating exceptional multi-disciplinary team members. And we got to talking about “generational differences”.  If you’re to believe the majority of media coverage, all the “millenials” are using twitter and social networking sites like crazy, running circles around their elders.  I really detest this sort of generational stereotyping, because it strikes me as intellectually lazy, prejudicial, and smacks a bit of endorsed age-ism (As an aside, I just listened to a podcast on Millenials from Forrester that quite literally made me cringe.  Mere words can’t describe it).  It also misses some interesting points:  the real professional value of all these networking tools is for people aged 30+, or more precisely, people with some work history in their chosen profession who have had time to make meaningful connections with colleagues from say, the last 3 jobs.  Quite a few of my 20-something friends don’t use Twitter and don’t see the point.  But nearly every business owner I know uses Twitter (most of those business owners are too old to be “Millenials”).