A Little Noah Brier Riff

This quote comes from an interview with/of Noah Brier, co-parent of the always interesting Why is this Interesting? newsletter:

Culture is this level of a company that allows you to not have a process for things.


I like that the statement feels tossed off and casual. It’s not claiming full truth or authority, and I think that’s a smart posture for wisdom. It feels approximately true, so it makes me want to turn it over, test it, see how closely it aligns to my current state. I wonder:

Is the statement useful, or could it be?

(I think so, so I’ll keep asking questions.)

What’s the process for creating a process in my organization?

Is process born and implemented on purpose . . . as a form of quality control, as a form of control control, as a response to a quirk of someone’s personality (Billy likes processes so we have a lot of them), or as a retroactive response, because a certain mess keeps happening?

Or is process implemented by accident?


Or, maybe worse, is it implemented as intentional/strategic approach to some things and not others? Who gets to decide?

The last part — processes’ potential randomness — is most interesting to me. It makes me want to slow down before creating formal processes in my organization, asking — as spanner — does this need a process or will our culture take care of it? Could, in fact, our culture be harmed if we turn this or that (or everything) into a defined process, if, in fact, we don’t exercise it every so often.

I think Brier is talking, sidelong, about trust. And that’s an institutional muscle you want to use. Or lose.

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