I was not a good student. I took what they call today a gap year, but back then it was called “finding yourself.” I did one of those, and I finally found my way into a two-year college. I went from an underperformer to a solid performer, with a little inspiration from some professors. That had a profound effect on me, to realize how much raw talent there is out there for us to exploit, leverage, take advantage of, and how much talent there is that people can give that organizations don’t mine, they don’t harvest, they don’t get the best of, because of structure, because of strategy, because of rules.
I am a big believer in processes. However, I ask Mr. Green, in the story you just described, what made your talent available to exploit? Structure, strategy and rules? I don’t think so. I think it is the inspiration from the professors.
People are more important than processes. People will have the most important effect on motivation and performance. Processes need to help people yet it is people who will make the difference.