Is it production or process? In terms of which is more important in your work, is it production or process? In other words, is the end product being produced well more important than enjoying the process of working towards an end product or vice-versa?
I hear and read a lot of leadership discussion these days, especially in ministry, that seems to indicate that process is most important. (Life’s a journey, not a destination.) Answering that question, however, may depend on your personality, your generation, or ultimately your position.
Here are a few thoughts on the subject:
1. My generation and older seems to work primarily for production. We are project and program oriented. It is hoped that we enjoy our work too, but if you have a job to do, you do it. This generation is typically more loyal to the organization for which they work.
2. Today’s younger generation certainly seems to enjoy the process of work as much as completing a task. In fact, if they can’t enjoy their work they aren’t likely to stay in the job long.
3. Some positions require a production focus. I hope my surgeon enjoys his work, but if I’m under the knife I just want him to finish well. Tax accountants can enjoy the process of filing the return all they want, but the product better be complete by tax day or someone is filing an extension.
4. Some positions require a process focus. When I’m counseling a young couple experiencing marriage struggles, it’s the process of our time together, not necessarily an “end goal” that’s important. If I work towards a forced agreement from the couple, it isn’t likely the changes they commit to will stick.
5. Some people, because of their personality, are naturally geared towards enjoying the process. Considering the Myers Briggs Personality Profile, a Perceiving person generally prefers the process and a Judging person generally prefers the production.
The fact is that both production and process are important. In the end, we need production in order for the organization to succeed. At the same time, if an organization wants to thrive and retain quality team members it must allow the process of production to be enjoyable.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. In what you do, is it more about process or production? Which would you prefer it be?