Process vs Initiative

Posted by David Wallace on June 9, 2022

Light bulb going its own way.Many clients I work with have developed processes to work efficiently and consistently. They have defined steps to ensure that work is done correctly and completely without missing any critical components.

Work processes have been in place for centuries back to the when hunting groups learned to make spears and fishing nets. As products increase in complexity, process steps become more important, whether building great structures or common devices. When building an office tower, the foundation must be built before walls are erected. When assembling a smartphone, connections must be made in a specific order or the parts won’t fit together.

The importance of process holds true in sales and marketing as well. Lead generation, lead follow-up and lead nurturing processes must be followed to ensure that your sales team is in front of prospects when the prospect is ready to buy. Back-end processes must be followed to ensure orders are entered, products delivered, and sales reps are paid on time and correctly. Reporting processes ensure that the business has the right resources in place to deliver products, collect receivables and anticipate cash flow.

However, don’t let strict adherence to process stifle initiative. Initiative is when your team sees an opportunity or identifies a problem and takes action to address it. Initiative drives innovation. Initiative drives growth – personal growth, professional growth and commercial growth for the company.

To encourage initiative, you must let your employees take managed risks. Managed risks are those with limited downside and greater upside. Let your team know where the risk boundaries are. As they gain experience, you may provide them with the authority to take larger risks, but always within recognized and acceptable limits.

Providing your team with the ability to think for themselves on your behalf and initiating appropriate action results in a better team driving innovation and greater success.

TechCXO Can Help
As a partner at TechCXO, I can help you balance process and initiative to drive stronger revenue. Learn more at

We’d like to help you achieve your business success goals. Contact us at (203) 856-9400 or to discuss how we can help you drive more business.