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Process and Journey

Is it a Process or a Journey?

Once again, I’ve been thinking about Database Sherpa. (Seriously, what else is new?) As I’ve begun to work with my marketing literature, the two words that keep coming up are Journey and Process. I wonder: Is Database Sherpa about a process or is it about a journey?

Both of these words have the same purpose—arriving somewhere new from a series of steps. But, the word “journey” invokes a different feeling to me. When I look at quotes that surround that word, I see things like:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~ Lao Tzu

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” ~ John Steinbeck

“Process” also invokes different feelings to me. When I look at quotes about process, they are more like this:

“The system is that there is no system. That doesn’t mean we don’t have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that’s not what it’s about. Process makes you more efficient.” ~ Steve Jobs

“I know that two and two make four – and should be glad to prove it too if I could – though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into five it would give me much greater pleasure.” ~ Lord Byron

Journey often evokes a feeling that steps taken are as important as the end place; but process encourages me to get to the end in the most efficient way possible. If I think about these two words in terms of yoga, one is organic energy (journey) and the other is muscular energy (process). Both work in tandem, but they are very different and provide different results. It’s a fine balance between both.
So, if you have too much organic energy (journey), it might take you a L-O-N-G time to get to your destination. You might wander a bit here and there and smell the roses all day long. But, if you have too much muscular energy (process), it might not take you very long, it may be very efficient, but you will miss many things along the way, like the roses or thorn bush or tricky spots that will appear later.

So, with Database Sherpa, what feels like a journey at times, may morph into a process and a process may turn into a journey. At least, that is my goal. So, you can receive the best of both energies.

As my Papa has always said to us (in his Indian/British accent), “It’s not a question of one or the other, it’s both.”

1 Comment

  1. Keeter Consulting

    6 years ago  

    “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

    “No matter where you go, there you are.” (Buckaroo Banzai)

    Quantum mechanics shows us that light exists both as waves and particles simultaneously.

    Operating a business has the same duality. It is a journey and also a process with the shared theoretical goals of becoming infinitely sustainable, with ever-increasing profits due to ever-increasing efficiency and ever-expanding sales.

    Ironically, the businesses that have come closest to reaching this ideal are good-old-fashioned, pure-evil, cigarette companies:

    “We don’t sell Tic Tacs, we sell cigarettes. And they’re cool, available, and *addictive*. The job is almost done for us.” (BR, in Thank You for Smoking”)

    My point is that conceptualizing your business as a journey or a process should be handled the same way scientists handle conceptualizing light as a particle or wave. Simply jump to whichever paradigm best meets your needs at the time, and switch back and forth whenever necessary.

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