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Towards meaningful and motivating workplaces, delivering great service

Blog: Process transformation - interventions for meaningful change

Lately, I have been diving a lot in a number of very interesting area’s:
– Service Design
– Positive Psychology

What does this have to do with BPM?

In my view, we might be looking at something that is going to converge towards a new view on organizations, processes and workplaces.

Let’s start with Service Design: a growing field of insights in how to create services. Service that deliver value for the customer and the organization. Services that create the optimal customer experience, personalized where possible. Service designs that are co-created, tested, improved. Service designs that are based on really investigating people behaviour and dialogue, to understand reasons, cause and effect. Service design bringing key concepts of Experience, Moments of Truth, Customer Journey, etc.
My big discovery was that Service Design focus is not only on customer and value for the organization. It is also focuses on employees. And that’s strong. Employee experience, employee motivation and engagement are key to drive customer experience and people’s happiness in general. Employees have moments of truth as well. And within bad systems, employees can have a lot of bad moments of truth. This not only creates unhappiness (and potential exits, illness, etc) but leads in general to unhappy customers. We all have had our share of service delivered by grumpy people.

Now, would it be possible to create happiness in organizations? Based on a growing set of research on positive psychology ( I think yes. Many books have been published, and check out and the internet for great findings in this area (Seligman, Achor, Fredrikson, Boyatzis). Positive psychology, as the evidence based sequel to humanistic psychology, delivers quite some insights in what can make us happy. According to Seligman: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and purpose, and Accomplishments.

I think it is time for incorperating these new views in our toolbox as process designers. BPM as a discipline for process design and innovation has typically had its focus on factors as efficiency, compliance, productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction. Nodding? Well, where is the employee?
I think it’s time to link BPM back to Organisational Development. Helping employees to create positive, engaging, meaningful workplaces. Using service design and positive psychology.

And to conclude, don’t do it for them, do it for yourself: The typical process designer comes in and tries to find bottlenecks, issues, problems. Literally every day we train our brain to see what’s bad, what’s missing. Well, that does not help you to become happy….

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