Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • March 2, 2011
  • minute read

The [P]rocessor 

At some point in the development of any organization, the irresistible force, of the highly effective force of the [V]isionary and the [O]perator meets an immovable object.

The immovable object is the growing need for processes and systems if the organization is to thrive and grow.

At some point it becomes clear that we simply can’t wake up every morning and do everything fresh and new. During Fun it is the case that everything is fresh and new, there is very little repetition, very little scalability, very few process and systems.

When something goes wrong all of the resources of the organization are turned towards fixing it. If a customer complains it gets fixed but the root cause of why the customer complained is often not addressed. There are few policies and procedures in place during Fun.

At some point in early Whitewater it becomes clear that in order to stop the boat rocking we need to put some systems and processes in place.

That means the introduction of a new management style. One which will typically not have been a strong element in the stages of the business through its development through Early Struggle and Fun.

The V and the O will get together and decide they need someone who will put in place these systems and process and they bring in the Processor. This role can either be found from within the company or elsewhere and their job is to steady the business by implementing these systems and processes.

It doesn’t take long, however, before the V and the O are at odds with the P. The fact is the V and the O brought in the P to control everyone else in the organization but they don’t want that control to extend to them.

During Whitewater, an organization may go through a period of introducing and removing the P role many times. With the V and the O claiming that the person in the role “is not a good fit.”

The ‘P’ is typically:

  • Technical;

  • Analytical;

  • Task-Focused;

  • Short-Term;


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