Sunday, April 03, 2005

Passion with a Side Salad of Process

“All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual.”

Honore De Balzac

Over thirty years experience in administration and management in the National Health Service, has led me to believe that the right mixture of passion and process is the way to get things done.

I believe passion, with a “side salad” of process, is the way – process being another word for effective action plan.

Some would argue a meal, without a side salad, is incomplete. If an outcome is a destination then three-quarters of the journey is not the final destination. A balance of passion and process can ensure we get the whole way ….. or, put another way ….. makes the meal complete.

Too much process or too much passion will often ensure non-arrival at your intended destination. But remember, individuals differ in their preferred learning styles and I do not find generalisations helpful. “She is a process person”… “He is too evangelical” ….. You have heard them all.

Sometimes situations call for more passion and sometimes for more process. I would say “single bullet” solutions are rarely achievable in complex organisations.

Passion can take us a long way down the road but without process, I believe we are more likely to fail. That is not to say one is more important – simply that both are needed.

The writing, publishing and marketing of Simplicity is the Key is a great example. I was totally naïve about formal processes of writing books so I wrote this book, fired only by passion to do it.

I feel too much process would have stifled me.

I would have stagnated and drowned in plans and process. The manuscript would probably have been on the shelf gathering dust for years.

As it was the book was produced from nothing to retail outlets in less than six months which I was pleased with.

The wonderful connections made though various accidental routes that led me to Anand the publisher definitely owed more to luck and networks than any formal plan. What a fabulous stroke of luck that turned out to be. Interestingly I did approach a publisher early on in the traditional (“correct“) way - submitting a formal manuscript for consideration. I never received a reply to my letter.

The rapid production of my book was probably due, in no small measure, to my innocence of rules and regulations. I tended to simply ring people to ask simple questions and found I was pushing at open doors.

People seemed to want to help me and they did. I hope I retain that simplistic and innocent approach to future writing - it seems to work.

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