If you’ve been reading for a while you know that my wife is a factory-tour-traveler. She loves learning how things work and how they are made. I love being with her, so I like to tag along.

Over the decades we’ve visited cranberry bogs, a whistle factory, an ice cream company (my favorite), a jelly bean maker, the Denver Mint … and I could go on.

This summer we found ourselves in a syrup producing plant in Alaska learning about sap. What we found was fascinating.

Hanging on the wall in the back room I found a whiteboard outlining a process. The board pictured the steps from sap to syrup. And let’s just say, they’ve mastered it. The stuff in the bottle was amazing!


When it comes to your work, have you taken the time to define your process? I hope you’re not winging it. Visiting sapville reminded me of the power of process and I left with more than a bottle of syrup. Consider the following discoveries:

The best processes are …

SyrupDefinable – What are you trying to produce, build, or grow? I love their tag lines, from tree to bottle and from sap to syrup. Can you say in a sentence what you are trying to accomplish?

Simple – A process doesn’t need to be hard to be effective. Often times simple leads to excellence, and excellence always leads to effectiveness. How simple is your process?

Visual – What captured my attention and made the syrup process understandable for me was the picture. By creating a visual representation of your defined, simple, process you make it easy for everyone to embrace.

Repeatable – Unless a process can be replicated it is not a process. Do you have a routine to help you get from point A to Z? WASH, RINSE, REPEAT.

Adjustable – How does the syrup taste? In other words, your process needs to be adjusted if things aren’t working. Do you take time to consistently evaluate progress?

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If you truly want to be remarkable, don’t underestimate the importance of process. Make yours definable, simple, visual, repeatable, and adjustable, and you’ll be well on your way to high performance.

Leadership Begins at Home,


Is there a process procedure you would add to the above list?

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