Process Change


“A seagull wanders along the beach just at the sea edge. Suddenly it takes off and flies just above the spray of  the fierce, incoming waves. The other sea gulls are perched on the rocks, hardly moving. I hear a loud bang in  the distance, from a car exhaust I think. Suddenly the seagulls take flight together and several dogs begin to bark.  A window opens in a nearby house and an elderly woman looks out to see what the commotion is. I shift uneasily  where I am standing, annoyed that the peaceful scene has been disturbed.”

Sometimes one small part of a process can be changed for an improvement to be realised. Sometimes we  have to recognised that an entire system of processes may need to be changed for a desired improvement to happen.


The car would not start. It was a regular and annoying problem. The mechanic was finally called out and  discovered that there was a problem with the choke. It needed replacing. A replacement was installed and soon  the car was running as well as it had before the problem arose. Then the van wouldn’t start. This was more  serious as it threatened Annie’s livelihood as a plumber. When the mechanic came, the news was not good. The  van needed an entire overhaul. By not seeing to the break pad problem earlier, the tyres were now in a poor state.  Fluid had also leaked and there was now rust in the engine. This was going to be a big job!”


Think of an example of a change to one process or part of a process in your job that could im-
prove your performance. For example:

– Something you could do more quickly

– Something you would do with less resources

– Something that could be improved with the aid of technology


Write your example down This is an opportunity for process innovation in your job.

Now write an example of a change to the whole way you work or a large part of the way you work
that would improve your performance.

For example:

– A re-sequencing of the order in which you carry out your job tasks

– Investment in a significant piece of technology that would improve your performance

– A redesign of some basic procedures associated with your job

This represents an opportunity for process innovation involving the whole system or part of the  system of processes in your job.


Visit the Innovation Realm

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