Core Business Processes . . .

In all enterprises, it’s the business model that deserves detailed attention and understanding.   -Mitch Thrower

I was with a senior executive the other day and she was lamenting on the fact that her organization was heavily silo focused and as a result the transformation of the business was proving very difficult.  Her frustration went like this:  “It is hard to get people focused on transforming the way we do business because everyone identifies with their departmental objectives and not the overall business.”.

Score one for “silo focus”!  

So in their next weekly meeting the executive Committee was searching for a way to shift people’s thinking out of silo-mode.  Their logical solution was training and they turned to the Head of HR to put together a training course.  “We need to teach people how to behave more like one team.”

Score two for “silo focus”!

Training is important but not sufficient for implementing organizational change.  As you all know, there is a burst of new behaviors following most training courses but they soon die out as old habits come back.  Why?  Is the training poor?  No, the culprit is not poor training.  To shift behavior we also need to change business processes, which significantly drive how employees behave.

So the key question to this Executive Committee is:

what changes are you going to make in the business processes?

The solution in this case is to redefine the way business is done from separate departments to Core Business Processes.  And in this particular company the entire business revolves around two core processes:  Procure-to-Pay and Claim-to-Pay, since their business model revolves around flexible outsourcing and servicing client claims.  Both these core processes run horizontally through all the functions.  By redefining the business as having two core processes and then building the training around these core processes, employees begin to identify with the needs of the various customers instead of just their function.

With a new understanding of Core Business Processes, employees can now focus on improving the flow of work through the business (eliminating waste, increasing end-to-end speed, etc.) instead of being only focused on functional issues.

Want to transform the speed and performance of your organization?

Define the Core Business Processes that determine your business model then focus all employees on understanding and using their functional and management skills to improve these processes.

Tight Lines . . .

John R Childress

E |      T | +44 207 584 3774      M | +44 7833 493 999

About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
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1 Response to Core Business Processes . . .

  1. Pingback: How To Change Your Business Process and Preserve Your Culture – The Uncommon League

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