The irresistible seduction of process

You feel that you built a “real” business by implementing process. But are you unwittingly stifling your intellectually curious, self-starting go-getters? Read about it in my new article in Advisor Perspectives.


If your firm’s assets are growing and you are scrambling to add staff to service your ever-growing client base, congratulations. That’s a good “problem.” As your firm grows, to provide an exceptional yet uniform client experience, maximize efficiency and minimize errors, you should build and implement a tightly-run process. Who wouldn’t want to perform at a high level, get more work done and make fewer mistakes?

But process is only a means, and nothing more, to delivering an outstanding client experience. It’s not strategy. And it’s not a product. Disregard this simple truth and you will lose self-starters and future leaders who want to contribute by doing far more than what they are told.

This is how obsessive adherence to process typically unfolds into irrelevance.

Your propensity to always “be better” causes your firm to grow. With growth comes complexity. You add more people from different walks of life, with varied personalities and temperaments. In your quest to be better, you strive to improve client experience. But with more people involved, chaos ensues. It is no longer optimal to run your firm informally.

Read more in Advisor Perspectives.