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Has American Business Become Too Pepperoni?

As a consultant for many years, I come into daily contact with people in businesses large and small, Fortune 500 and "mom and pop." The one factor I can say is universally common is that the Great Recession, as we now call it, changed everyone's way of thinking and doing business in profound ways. The number one common change is clinging desperately to their "processes." Once American business flourished on the idea of entrapreneurship -- acting entrepreneurial in the context of an established organization. Now we have re-engineered our processes, re-designed our talent needs for the glorious new processes. Yet in the wake of crippling financial conditions during the recession and continuing for many the process of how  we do business has become more important than doing business. Granted the significance of process re-design was crucial to success from the late nineties through 2006 and 2007. American businesses were strangled with workaround plans and processes because companies' core business systems were groaning with antiquity, too expensive to change and yet did not work anyway. We cleaned that up fairly well. In doing so we created our current roadblock to doing what America does best -- getting in there with hands proudly dirty and getting the job done. The current roadblock is our own fascination with our shiny new peocesses that work so well -- or do they? I see an odd psychological paradigm shift here. Simply put -- in our desperate need to keep some constancy in the slipping, topsy turvy world of the recession, we hung on to business processes themselves as a constant that would pull us from the precipice of financial collapse. Granted we had to hang on to something in order to deal with the confusion and irrationality of the world. Now the emphasis on process instead of result has created a false safety much like eating pepperoni piazza as comfort food during distress--over-processed, no nutrients and only an expanding waistline left once the temporary comfort has passed. We need to revitalize businesses by keeping processes simple and where they belong -- as support to the mental and emotional briallance of American business people. We do not serve the process. The process helps us get done what we so clearly see needs to happen. If the process is not helping us to that one simple outcome -- use your good mind, make a decision, get the support you need from partners and get the job done.