Yesterday, I received an invitation by a bank to talk about this piece: “The Biggest Career Mistake”.
If you made 2.2 after working hard, you would be fine in your career. But if you made 3rd class because you did not have discipline or work hard, nothing will change in your life until you fix that process issue. Your problem is not the grade but the Process that resulted to the grade.
Until the process is changed, in your life, nothing will likely work. So, 2.2, 3rd Class or Pass, is not your main problem. The problem is you have NOT fixed what resulted to them where you think they are bad.
Sure – the bank is not interested in the job part. Rather, the focus will be on process. The HR Director quoted this statement “Your problem is not the grade but the Process that resulted to the grade” as they explained what they are expecting. My job is to get the bank team to think deeper beyond outcomes but rather the processes which determine outcomes.
Largely, how can you get the staff to examine processes post-failures over just fixating on the actual failures? And how can we build the right processes to avoid even having failures? And when failures do happen, how do you ensure they cannot repeat?
Last year, I led a team that set up a Process Center of Excellence in a bank. But that was just on the ICT organization, focusing on building ICT systems which do not just Run (the bank) but also can TRANSFORM it. But increasingly, we have been zeroing on human elements and things which lead to failures.
It is very important to understand one thing: whether in our personal lives or in a big bank, unless we begin to fix unproductive processes, we cannot have predictable positive outcomes.
Do not make grade to be your god irrespective of what the banks, telcos, and oil firms will tell you when you apply for a job. The key success will come when you begin to fix systemic problems that resulted to those poor grades where you think you could have done better. But self-pity instead of focusing on fixing unproductive processes in your career will not yield anything.
Yes, as I explained in the accumulation of capabilities construct, there is more value in the upstream part of any endeavour: From Google to Dangote Group, when companies accumulate capabilities, they see themselves operating in the segments of markets with higher value (usually upstream) compared with where their competitors operate (usually downstream). It applies in careers, not just in companies. Yes, when you improve your processes and focus on upstream capabilities, you would get huge exponential results in whatever you do.