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Process is King

The process is the most important part of any project. Understanding how it works and how it should be followed will help you understand that the person is not to blame, they are merely a component of the process. Understanding this concept will allow you the ability to make changes in your business without blaming anyone else. The process is king. I cannot think of anything more important than the process in an organization. I can think of a lot of reasons why a process matters and how it impacts processes beyond your team.

Welcome to STEMming Stilettos, a podcast just for and about women of color in STEM. During this session, Shermaine Perry Knights explore why processes are kings. As a woman of color with a strong academic background and proven success in STEM, she is welcome as a guest. She will discuss her mentoring and development work, along with her work with girls and young women in STEM. Shermaine is also the chief learning officer and founder of Innovative Consultants of DeKalb, a business she founded. The Fulton County Government also has her responsible for training and instructional design. She is an engaging educator and workforce development coach who loves creating aha moments and learning solutions.

In addition to being an inspiring and phenomenal individual who founded Natoshia Anderson Consulting, Dr. Natoshia Anderson also hosts the podcast "STEMming in Stilettos with Dr. Toshia." Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, Natoshia Anderson now teaches STEM psychology and gender equity. She is also a STEM motivational speaker and podcast host for "STEMming in Stilettos" and hosts other related podcasts. Besides keynote and motivational speaking services, she also offers professional and leadership development coaching to organizations, associations, corporations, and educational systems. In her spare time, Dr. Anderson loves to read romance novels and binge-watch Netflix shows.

The process is king. I cannot think of anything more important than the process in an organization. I can think of a lot of reasons why a process matters and how it impacts processes beyond your team. In the continuation of my blog post, we will be exploring why the process is king.

Throughout this blog, Shermaine will answer questions regarding employee development and process improvement. Her combined roles as an instructional designer, project manager, senior trainer, teacher, and facilitator will enable her to provide advice to executives on process improvement and employee development. The talent development industry considers Shermaine a leader.

Shermaine says “I birthed a project and I said, I sit back, and I look at it and I still have a few of my beta readers. I gifted them a book for their work. I said, I do not want to have an official contract with the child, but the parents allow it. I would love to give them a hardcover book and I have gotten some valuable feedback. I have been blessed that it is featured on NPR and several other outlets just when you allow your creativity to change your routine. The benefits are so powerful and that is why that is what we need in every industry. That is what STEM is supposed to look like. Creativity blew wide open.”

Source image: Canva

Dr. Toshia adds” Yes, I mean, I think so. I know part of this process, having gone through it myself. With the children was my children's book is amazing. It's a process I couldn't have thought of, I just couldn't have thought that I would be a children's book author and so, the illustrator was amazing and the questions that she had, and our conversations were helpful, and it was helpful in a way for me to see how words can be interpreted, differently even to someone who's drawing the pictures that you use, I think I had a well I know I had pictures in my mind of what these things could look like, and then to have someone sort of pulling them from the words that I had written was it's something quite special that I don't know people really get and then have them hit it, or camera as close as they can come to it. It's something else entirely but then you sort of when you think about that process in the broader landscape of STEM and where it fits and where it can fit, where it brings in creativity but you're using some of your knowledge, whether that's technical knowledge or experience knowledge, and so you ideate in and then you, you take that idea and you expand on it, and then you make changes, which is all a part of the engineering design process and see how it comes back full circle. Like this. It is beautiful and it is all, and that is a part of the beauty of STEM that does not get talked about a lot because people of course when they think of beauty, it is something that you can see and feel in touch. As opposed to just sort of this is a beautiful process and beautiful things come from it if you look at it from that standpoint.”

Shermaine continues “Well said, and so like you said the arts just bring everything together. So, for us with an adult learning theory, I am thinking of Gagne’s nine events of instruction, right, you are getting attention, then you are building an expectation, retrieving that information, then you are starting to think how am I perceiving this? Then you build a code for how it should look when you are guiding others. Then we are talking about what type of response are we receiving, and then ultimately providing feedback again, that same process, it is called a different name, but the process is the same and that is why I said that was quoted online, and it was talking about how in everything, the process is key. So, you do not blame the person. You blame the process. The process is not understood. The process was unclear. The process was not communicated effectively in writing an action and in anything else, it is the process. That is the problem, not the person.

Source image: Canva

Dr. Toshia agrees “Got it! I liked that. The process is King there might be that might have a T-shirt worthy right there. Right. I am telling you that might make it on so I have a board of sticky notes myself of things that I want to remember and that might make it on to that because, especially when as an entrepreneur, you are making your process, your own processes that work for you. Every entrepreneur is different and what works for one, may not be appropriate for another or it might be that you may need to make tweaks to that process. So, it works for what it is you are trying to do. I have written that down that might make it into the show notes in a way.

Shermaine says “That’s good! When I heard that I said yes, it has all been stuck in my mind since it makes up the process that defines your behavior and performance change. Wow. You can go back to management leadership, you can look at anything, relationship, the process. You do not want to do the work; things do not give it the right process always goes back to that and I said, wow, I hate that. That is right but it is true. It is always the process. It is not the person, not the behavior, not the organization process. They are unclear. They are not effective. They do not have enough creativity in it and so, you see people will struggle to meet that expectation or deliver that key performance indicator process.

Source image: Canva

Dr. Toshia adds “Wow, yes, that really knocks it all home for me and just the importance of what it is that you do in are doing. Can you tell us where people can find you if they are looking for you?”

Shermaine answers “Yes, so I am also an entrepreneur. People can find me on LinkedIn, Shermaine Perry-Knight, you can find me on my website innovation consultants with an s .co and you are able to find me on Facebook, and Instagram at Innovation consultants. I am happy to connect. I love talking about processes and learning what project management looks like it always boils down to the same thing and so that's part of what my business is, which is helping someone understand what the process should look like, and you are just picking it apart backward.”

Dr. Toshia continues “Okay, so, and then, you have given them where to find you and you have given them, all your information. So now, I just have one last question for you, and this is the question that we asked all our guests as well. If you had the opportunity to go back and talk to your younger self, and younger self can be, the six-year-old you the 10-year-old you the 15-year-old you 25-year-old you just ordered the new from yesterday. What would you tell her and why?”

Source image: Canva

Shermaine says “I tell her three things and I will be brief. I would tell her one, embrace her uniqueness. It is not weird. Different, special, simply different. It is just, that right? Different, but a good thing. I would tell her to focus regardless of what is happening around her. They focus right no matter if the winds blow, whatever is happening, just stay focused on what they want lastly, I will tell her do not feel like you must do everything herself. Ask for help. There is no weakness in asking for help. Even if you do not know what to ask for, because I was always like if I did not know what to ask for. I would not ask for help. I just tried to figure it out on my own that is to just ask if I do not know what I need. But this is what I have done so far. I feel like I asked for an uphill.”

Dr. Toshia loves Shermaine’s answers. Dr. Toshia continuesOkay. So, you all, this concludes our interview with Shermaine. Again, she is giving you her contact information, and where to find her. You can also find it in the show notes and so you can look her up a hit and then I will have her bio and all her links so you can just go right to the show notes and click on the link, and it will take you directly to all our information. So also, you guys can find me here, but you can find me on Buzzsprout or iTunes or anywhere you can listen to podcasts you can find my book on Amazon, or you can go to my website at Toshia is spelled T, O, S, H I, and A and I look forward to seeing you all. On the next or hearing from you all about the next episode. So, until then, as I end every show, you all keep yourself safe.”

In summary, we are all human. We are all going to make mistakes now and again, but we cannot let those mistakes cripple our efforts. If something goes wrong, we need to learn from it and move past it, because as I mentioned before, the process is king. If a methodology is in place that allows for checks and balances, then any common mistake is going to be caught in the process. If a process is not in place, what happens? What ends up happening are the same few things that always happen when there are not enough checks and balances in place: people get blamed for doing their job poorly, challenging work goes unrewarded, and the whole thing devolves into an unproductive mess. The process is king in business.

Processes are created by people and businesses to ensure consistency based on your goals and objectives for a specific project. Processes are important because you do not want to waste time, effort, or money doing something that was already done yesterday, last week, or last month. Processes also eliminate errors from the repetition of tasks that were previously done incorrectly.

Always be creating and develop processes around your work. Use the same process repeatedly, improving it every time. Open the process, get people to talk about what they are doing, and challenge them to think differently about how they do things. The better you are at breaking complex tasks down into smaller steps and improving your existing processes, the less pressure you will feel in the moment, and the more confident you will be that you are getting everything right. Perfection is not a destination; it is an ongoing process of improvement—and always will be.

This podcast episode might be of interest to those of you who love writing, stories, and community. In the end, what you experience is not as important as how you share the journey, so you will certainly come away empowered. I have included the link below to this podcast episode:

STEMming in Stilettos with Dr. Toshia " Meet Shermaine Perry Knights: Systems Thinking; Processes are King; The Gift of Feedback”

Hopefully, sharing this story can help others who are experiencing the same difficulty!

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