Moving to Hawaii Pt. 2

As much as the world is changing, buildings being built, technology advancing, at the heart of things is what we want and need to accomplish. Photo Credit: D. Ramos

Last week I wrote about the experience of seasoned employees. If you haven’t read it, you can click here to catch up. A quick review, the three keywords being dissected through my example of moving are policies, processes, and procedures. As far as experience goes, I sincerely believe everyone has something to contribute. How contribution is communicated is a challenge. Defining success, especially in an environment where teamwork is required, is a challenge. The reason for the challenge is everyone has different perspectives.

I have friends who ask me, “Isn’t it expensive to live in Hawaii?” and typically my response is a long winded, “It depends.” Depending on what your priorities are, it may or may not be expensive. Sure, you can compare our milk prices but that’s not the only metric. Is mental health in your measurement? Do you care about traveling? Do you care that everyone knows each other? These questions will be answered differently by everyone and that’s the key to communicating identifying where exactly you want to place yourself.

There’s an assumption that anyone with success can write an instruction manual how to get there (Procedures). Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is common at all the organizations. However, the problem with procedures is there’s a high chance that the wrong type of experience is captured. Trivial decisions become law. For example, I heard of a story that blue ink has to be used when signing documents. This “rule” has been in place for decades. Doing research, the original reason for this “rule” was to avoid fraud since copying machines of the past couldn’t reproduce color. Even though technology has changed, the procedure has not and that’s a problem.

Analyzing the “Blue Ink Rule”, one can determine that the actual rule is not to create fraudulent documents. That’s the process. If an administrator is handed documents, he/she should be able to identify if it’s fraudulent or not. Since technology changes, determining what’s fraudulent will take the experience of someone who knows what technologies exists and what can be considered fraudulent.

At the end of the day, everyone has experience. It’s not a matter of defining who’s right or who’s wrong but leveraging all our experience together to build a community. Thoughts? Comments? Holler @ Me. 

Moving To Hawaii Pt. 1

#FlashBackFriday at Ala Moana Beach. One of my first stomping grounds.

It’s been about 6 years since I made that faithful one way trip to Honolulu, HI. Plenty has changed. More relationships, more buildings, more variables across the board that’s affected my life.

I found this awesome comparison of policies, processes, and procedures to traffic rule book, maps, and directions (thanks to SweetProcess). It occurred to me that over time, if you’re driving around you inherently build an understanding of processes as a sixth sense. That’s the missing piece to try to explain why there’s a gap between the veterans and the young whippersnappers in an organization. I believe we all respect experience but knowing your way around a new place takes a different kind of experience.

As a new employee, you might not know the landscape of going from point A to point B. Maybe there’s a map that exists but it hasn’t been updated in years. There’s been situations where I found myself asking, “Why are we doing it this way?” Luckily I’ve been working with teams where the seasoned members would entertain those questions. Once the answers satisfied my curiosity, it helped develop better documentations and mediate between the novice and the masters.

Getting around a new environment, you need to know laws (policies) and you can always Google directions (procedures). However, knowing that there’s traffic at 5 pm or anticipating that a street is going to be closed off because one of many parades are happening during a week day takes experience (understanding processes). And sometimes that experience changes rapidly or slowly.

Tune in next week for Pt. 2 where I offer a different perspective on experience. Questions? Comments? Don’t be shy, holler @ me and let’s talk story.