November 27, 2018
Filed under: Knowledge
What the Bachelor Franchise Taught Me About Process
By Joe Gannon, Accounts Manager
I unashamedly love to watch The Bachelor. I started half-watching the show with my wife, chiming in here and there with a snide comment, but the series quickly grew to be something I looked forward to every Monday night. Thinking about the joy I felt while watching The Bachelor brought me to an interesting realization: I like the show because it follows a very systematic process.
Let me break it down for you.
The season starts with 30 single, ready-to-mingle contestants. After a quick (and usually, uh, interesting) introduction to the Bachelor or Bachelorette, everyone enters the mansion, where they’ll all live together and try to date the same person. That first night is a big one—the contestants are whittled down to 18, leaving 12 guys or girls very sad and heartbroken. Over the next 10 weeks, the group goes from 18 to 15, 15 to 12, and so forth, until finally, there are two final contestants. This entire show, through the genius of the producers, is nothing more than a well-formulated process.
Process isn’t only important within Bachelor Nation, but within any organization. In fact, without process, one is likely to get nothing done. Whether we know it or not, we’re all creating different processes throughout lives. We have a process for our commute to work, for how we get ready for bed, for what we do on the weekend, and so on. Process is all around—and it’s important.
Today, I’m sharing how to make the process work for you and your team. (Don’t worry, the Bachelor analogies stop here—for the most part.)
So, what exactly is process?
Defined, process is a “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.” I’d like to take this one step further and say process is “a series of written actions or steps taken in order to nourish and grow a team seeking to achieve a mutual goal.”
I added the extra context because process oftentimes exists in the mind of one person. When this happens, there’s a bottleneck to the end goal. At Belief Agency, this is why we strive to make sure our processes are transparent company-wide and to the client in effort to continue our promise of telling the truth.
Our process is a collaborative one, and it requires three things: commitment, adoption, and adaption. Here’s how it works.
Oftentimes, we create process in a vacuum—whether it’s an internal one or an external one—and don’t allow visibility. Therefore, it can be difficult for people to get behind a process. At Belief Agency, we find it most efficient and effective to initiate, create, and implement processes collaboratively, working with all the stakeholders—including the client.
For example, we have the great opportunity to serve alongside a well-known financial institution. From the beginning of the relationship, collaboration was incredibly important and vital to how the account would be run. When it came time to launch the first set of digital ads, our process was a bit of a mess, yet through collaborating with the client (even it’s just them saying, “This is chaos!”), we were able to simplify and create added efficiencies to the second round of digital ads.
Collaboration requires trust, respect, and open communication, and without those things, the end product will suffer.
In a nutshell, commitment is boiled down to holding each other accountable to the process, having each others’ back, and doing great work. When we can commit as a group not just to a process, but to each other, there is increased buy-in of the goals of the client, which is key to our work—after all, we are in a service industry.
There are different ways to encourage and initiate commitment. Here are few of favorite ways:
- Holding weekly internal sprints to ensure everyone is on the same page and any outstanding questions can be tackled (without having to hunt down a trail of emails or Slack messages)
- Celebrating at every stage of the project (concepting, exploration, creation, launch), because we’re doing good work with good clients, and that deserves to be celebrated
- Going on quarterly offsites (say, to a museum) to keep things fun, fresh, interesting, and inspired
Remember: We’re all in this together, and we all want the best work for our clients. Make sure you stop to appreciate that along the way.
It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something, but as we’ve all been told at one time or another, actions speak louder than words. Once you commit to and adopt a process, you can expect a learning curve. If we can hold each other accountable to committing to the processes, we can also do the same when it comes to adopting the process. There will be growing pains, but the best way to implement a process—even if it hurts or if it’s “easier” to do things the older way—is to just buckle up and do it.
And while the act of adopting to a new process might feel a little painful, it’s nothing like the hurt when a client points out a fault in your system or how your team works. That said, because we’ve committed to process and serving our clients the best way possible, we can go back, review the process, and make adjustments.
Remember: no one can do anything well at first. If there’s room to commit and adopt a process, we must also make room for process to go through adaptation. Adding new processes within an organization most always starts with good intention, but good intention only goes so far. One won’t truly know if their process works until it’s being followed. And when an error in the process is found, we must be able to identify what needs to be changed, make the change, and see if it works—again. When there’s freedom for the team to work through and adapt a process, we serve our clients well.
“Process is a series of written actions or steps taken in order to nourish and grow a team seeking to achieve a mutual goal.”
Process can feel burdensome and a hassle, yet it’s an incredibly important part of any successful organization. At Belief Agency, we use process to make sure we’re telling the best stories, adding increased value, providing world-class service, and keeping things as stress-free as possible so we can enjoy our work—and The Bachelor every Monday night.
I admit, it may seem silly to see organizational processes within a reality show. Nevertheless, 22 seasons later, The Bachelor has found a process that works. Sure, things shift here and there (Season 1 looks very different than Season 20), but without the process, the show would be utter chaos—just like our businesses would be without ours.