The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People
April 17, 2017
Mike Diamond and Chris Harding have written a book about the importance of developing and leading process as well as people.
Mike Diamond was a Major General in the US Army, worked in "various areas of supply chain and logistics management" in his civilian life, as well as acting as a consultant in leadership and process improvement. Chris Harding is a Captain in the Air Force, where he currently serves as an Acquisition Program Manager. They are also father and son.
In the The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People, they have teamed up to offer their collective lessons and reflections on leadership. And theirs is a different take:
Much literature has been written about the expectations leaders have for their subordinates, but often overlooked are the expectations that workers have for managers and those aspiring to be leaders. The chasm and void created by leaders in all sectors—corporate, military, government, nonprofit, etc.—who do not meet or exceed worker expectations is what inspired us to write this book.
Their aim is to restore balance—to perspective, to the organization overall, and to your leadership in particular. Balance is a key of leadership in multiple areas. You must balance the different types of power you hold—that which comes from the authority imbued in your official position, or legitimate power, and that which comes from your personal relationships with people, or referent power—and know how to use each accordingly. You must be able to balance the power throughout the leadership layers of the organization. Leaders must be able to analyze the future while optimizing present performance on the ground level. And you must be able to lead process as well as people. It is the management of process that many leaders and organizations overlook. But in order to lead process, you actually need a process:
Some organizations simply do not have established processes whatsoever; this means the people are the process.
If that's true of your organization, and you need something accomplished—or even a question answered—there is very often only one person you can turn to for resolution. What happens if that person is out sick for day, for a week, or on vacation for a month? What happens if they leave the company abruptly?
If this is your organization … If there are fifty other processes like this one that have no process definition, the inefficiencies compound on top of each other and your organization is a breeding ground for chaos.
It is important that people take ownership of their work, but it is perhaps even more important that there is some amount of clarity to that work and how it's done, and a process defined for it so that it can be done in spite of any individual's presence on any given day—even your own. It is this kind of process leadership that is most lacking, in part because it is not taught in most leadership training or literature. And that is why they wrote The Diamond Process. It defines process leadership as "the iterative act of developing a process, applying appropriate resources to the process, and monitoring the performance of the process." That is decidedly less exciting to most who aspire to leadership than leading people. It's "more science than art," more analytical than inspirational. That is where the Diamond Process Model (or DPM) can come in handy.
It is not only about understanding the difference between leading people and process, but the relationship between them and how to lead more holistically and completely. There are many elements to that process, which are grouped into three components: "the key driver component (Mission, Vision, Goals, and Objectives); work process component (lines of business; primary and secondary processes; tasks and functions); and the resource component (people, equipment, capital)." And with military-like precision, they break the book into three sections to: one, fully explain the model, and all it's elements; two, explain how to put it to use, and; three, how to get the most out of it in decision making and application. It will teach you to see your organization more clearly, to make sure you're avoiding rote processes, and instituting the right ones—cleaning up the wasteful, time-consuming work and making it more deliberate, intentional, and tied to the whole.
It doesn't matter what kind of organization you're leading. Learning to look deeper at and understand the importance of process in your organization, to achieve balance and lead it more completely, is essential to improve your own leadership, the people around and under you, and the organizational unit as a whole. And, as the authors note, their book is equally applicable to a parent leading a household as it is to a CEO of a multinational company, a nonprofit employee as it is to a government agency or military leader. It is for anyone in any kind of leadership role, in title or informal, or who aspires to be.
We have 20 copies available.