Purpose + Process to Accelerate Improvement

If you can’t describe what you hope to gain by using a specific process, you don’t know what you’re doing.

– W. Edwards Deming

How do we choose the right process for our purpose and desired outcome? In this roundtable, Dr. JoAnn Sternke interviewed Superintendent Terrie Morgan about improvement processes in Kentucky’s Hardin County Schools. She also shared how to align your purpose to the best process that will drive the improvements that matter most.

In the roundtable and the discussion groups, JoAnn challenged leaders to think about processes in their organization that could be more efficient. She asked leaders to reflect on how the processes can become simplified or more easily understood by those who use them:

  • What is a process that creates “hassels, heartburn and headaches” in your organization? Why?

  • When you think of this process, what is the purpose of it? How do you want it to work and what might be preventing it from working optimally or efficiently?

  • Thinking of that process you want to improve, What are some key steps to begin improving it?


Roundtable Resources

Are we Just Documenting or Improving Processes?  | 9P

Put your data to work – Technology allows us to collect, store and share data and information about our daily work. Organizations can utilize this information to improve processes across the organization to achieve high performance.

Read the article >> 

Keep the Complex Simple: A Guide for Process Improvement | 9P

Read the article on 9P >> 

Key Points About Purpose and Process

1. Keep asking why the process exists. Get to the core of the process by focusing on its purpose.

2. Involve a team of people close to the process to help improve the process. Get input from both implementers of the process and customers/users of the process about how the process is working and where it is causing “hassles, heartburn and headaches”.

3. Think of how to make the process simple and easy to understand. Clarity is key.


Toolkits are developed by our experts to guide leaders with a framework for complex solutions. View and download our interactive toolkits on communicating using the Execution Triangle, results rollout, execution and improvement and more.

Future Roundtable Sessions

Each week, our coaches lead a discussion with a community of leaders who are facing similar challenges. These 60-minute sessions are free and allow opportunities to learn from expert leadership coaches and have candid conversations with other leaders about barriers, share successful practices and re-center on what works.

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