Monday, May 12, 2008


How pervasive is the practice of substituting process for competence?

Process is already a substitute for competence in almost every industry that comes to mind...

It's hasn't followed through to it's logical conclusion yet, but consider the simple facts. Hiring and retaining competent people just costs too much money. In small business you find some employers willing to find competent people and pay them well, but it's just easier for a company to institute a process driven model than to deal with employees who want better pay and health benefits, who can leave if they find a better offer, etc.

The problem is that in today's world it's very hard to progress in a company if you're good at what you do. Stability is much more important than having a bunch of aces running around that could leave your company and are very hard to replace. I think it's a confluence of fewer truly competent people in the marketplace, and the simple bottom line approach of attempting to create more of a production line approach to productivity. If you're anywhere below the C level, competence will almost always take a backseat to process in a large corporation.

That's not to say there's not competent people out there, I just think employers are realizing that a process is less hassle than constantly finding and retaining top talent. Would you agree that it is easier to find folks such as Robert McIlree than James Robertson...

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