Procedures or processes?

When we're in the state of mind of a control freak that I've explored here and here, we cannot tell the difference between a procedure and a process. We assume those are two words that mean the same thing, since thinking that way serves our controlling interests. We're incapable of really relating to others'  interests, points of view and personally differentiated experiences. We handle the diversity of others with labels, categories and profiles, not with insights, empathy or compassion. To do otherwise would seem "out of control" to our self interests.

When we're in the state of mind to really relate to others, there are big differences between a procedure and a process:
  • A procedure calls for compliance and conformity where a process calls for permission to explore and experiment
  • A procedure can be kept on track with feedback where a process needs to deviate to discover ways to move forward
  • A procedure can be characterized by checklists where a process unfolds serendipitously
  • A procedure converges on a consistent result in familiar territory where a process diverges into new territory where innovations occur
  • A violation of a procedural requirement is explicit where violations of a process code can only be inferred
We cannot begin to assemble spacious networks when we conflate procedures and processes. Spatial networks are an outgrowth of processes and processing. They traffic in others' varied and exploratory interests rather than their common interest in doing what's required, what they've been told to do and what has been done before. Procedures shut down the space for being really helpful, for strong ties in the moment or for naturally synchronous innovations. Processes reopen the space for all those benefits to be realized. When those processes are in "full swing", spacious networks emerge.

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