Calling All Process People

At the risk of sounding cynical, I think we’ve had our fill of great ideas in education. What we need now is more process people.

Who are process people? We are the ones who can take a vision – be it extraordinary or mediocre- and breathe it to life. We can frame and reframe ideas, drilling down to goals and objectives, feeling our way forward and creating movement. Simply put, we set ideas into motion.

In our current climate of polarized perspectives and agendas, ideas and visions are no longer enough. We need skilled facilitators who can move them forward, navigating threats and obstacles toward meaningful outcomes. Clearly, process people are more critical than ever and luckily we are not hard to find. We exist in virtually every field and discipline just waiting, yearning for our skills to be utilized, yearning for a chance to make things happen. But creating spaces for our work is not easy. Often the leaders who need us most are unaware of their own limitations or the value and possibilities associated with our skillsets.

In some ways we are our own worst advocates. For when we are at our best, our respective organizations and systems work more smoothly with little awareness of our contributions or the work that we do behind the scenes. Perhaps it is time to bring our actions into the foreground and clarify their value in relation to core goals and priorities. By professionalizing this category of “process” we could potentially work to create more opportunities to add value and learn from oneanother, while offering support and mentoring to those who feel the calling….

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About mbhuber2013

convener and co-founder of BTEP, instructor for Tanzania Study Abroad course; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning at University at Buffalo

One response to “Calling All Process People”

  1. Eric says :

    Thanks Mara! Excellent and very accurate. I have connected in a few other good friends and colleagues…

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