“A critical characteristic of a profession is the need to cultivate and exercise professional discretion – that is, the ability to make case by case judgements that cannot be determined by an absolute rule or instruction” [*]
So, how do you get professionals to do things the right way?
Not by expecting them to work like fast-food operatives, or a production line.
First, work with them to build a shared vision of what ‘the right way’ means for your clients – what I call your Promise of Value.
Then create a supporting framework of high-level, end to end business processes that operates at the right level of abstraction – delivering guidance rather than absolute rule. Something like a professional musician’s score, that tells them what to play, but not how.
The two things together make a powerful combination that encourages consistency, yet leaves plenty of room for judgement on the exceptions, plus plenty of scope to evolve the system in the light of experience.
In other words, you’ll free your people up to be professional.