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People matter more than process.

(But process still matters.)

Companies build processes in order to scale. Consistent quality output requires good processes. As Ed Catmull talks about in Creativity, Inc. it’s not enough to “Trust the process” – trusting a process does not take people out of the equation. People still own the process.

I’ve experienced poor processes. Processes so fine-tuned that nobody owns anything. There were constant fires to put out. Unfortunately, the answer was “We’re missing a step in the process. Add to it!” … the answer is not adding to the process, but revisiting it. Considering subtracting or eliminating.

You have to “Find, develop, and support good people” – hire people who know what they’re doing and care about the work they do. When something goes wrong, it’s not just the process’ fault. People failed. That’s okay. Own it. Improve it. We should be failing all the time, but if we don’t own that failure, we’ll never learn.

P.S. Creativity, Inc. is one of the best business books I’ve ever read. Grab a copy.

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