Process Revealing


Some processes lie behind others and sometimes reveal aspects through others

“The clouds are shimmering crimson. The sight is quite breathtaking. At night they are sometimes  silver white like jewels in the sky. Of course the clouds are really their usually grey or white. But  the way the sun and moon reveal their beauty through the semi-transparency of the clouds would  almost make you think that Mother Nature had adorned them with solver and crimson paint!”

When we have problems with using a piece of software on a computer what does this reveal? It  may reveal that the unhelpful menus or over complex commands result from the approach of the  programmer to the programming process. In the opposite Case, a very user-friendly program may well reflect processes at an earlier stage of product development where users where involved in  the design process and their feedback incorporated into the design of the programme.

We can often see the ‘mark’ of a good design process in a particular product or service and this  can give us useful pointers for innovation, as it helps us to build on already present strengths in  the process and eliminate weaknesses. It also helps us to get to root causes of process problems.

Story time…

The mark of the inventor!

A manager from a hearing aid manufacturer writes: “Even ten years after his death, our hearing aid manufacturing processes bears the mark of our founder. He was a real inventor but also meticulous and precise in the way he worked. Our processes still bear that hallmark. If anything our processes are too over-specified and its hard to reduce that influence.”

The caution amongst participants at the strategy conference came from previous conferences. Those had been run by the strategy director who had been a real tyrant and not totally honest with decision making processes. That suspicion had had an impact was revealed through the closed behaviour of most middle managers at this year’’ conference.

The returned parts bore all the marks of a careless assembly worker who had rushed their work and not taken time to ensure that the screws were properly aligned.


Write the names of three people in your organisation who have been instrumental in designing or implementing processes in your organisation. For example, the founder of the company, an influential designer or engineer, a change agent. You might wish to interview a colleague who has been with the organisation a long time. How does their particular individuality – the way they think or feel, their style of management or ways of working, reveal itself in the particular process?

Who was the person/people behind this process or innovation?

What processes led to them coming up with THIS process?

Visit the Innovation Realm

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