bridge support arch photo Photo by mikecogh [CC]

"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble." Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are so often caught up in methods (or in other words, rules). Business processes are designed with the assumption that the people in them are non-thinking automatons. Thus the prevalence of methods and rules.

Without understanding the principles behind what needs to be achieved, without a view of the grand goal, and the opportunity to create internal contribution relevance; it is impossible for people to be truly empowered. The process becomes method for the sake of method. In such an environment, there is no possibility for improvement let alone innovation. When you design for automatons, you get automatons.

From an individual viewpoint, the person who blindly follows methods cannot hope to achieve more than what the process gives him or her.