Building a high-performing team requires more than selecting the right people and giving them a checklist. It involves creating a process that leverages talent to reach goals quickly and efficiently. If your organization could use some help in that department, "The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People", written by an Army Major General and Air Force/Navy veteran, offers a comprehensive approach to completing that mission for your business or organization.
Why does leadership look good on paper but get so complicated in reality? The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People would argue that it might be the way leaders are taught. Leaders, the book says, learn how to manage people, not the processes. It is assumed that leaders know which process to use and how to use that process to get things done.
This assumption, sadly, isn’t the reality.
That’s why Major General (retired) Mike Diamond and Christopher Harding wrote The Diamond Process.
What is The Diamond Process About?
The process of leading your team is something leaders often take for granted. Sure, there are plenty of books out there on the topic. There are plenty of tools, like flowcharts and process maps, as well. There is plenty of software available, too.
Yet, if you ask most leaders, they would cite “people” as their chief obstacle to success.
That may or may not be true, especially if you look at The Diamond Process. This book, written by a retired Major General and current Acquisitions Program Manager is chock full of advice about efficient processes. Unlike other books on the “process” of doing business, the focus is not on creating better workflows for your team. It’s focused on the top of the organizational pyramid.
The Diamond Process suggests that inefficient leaders don’t understand the two types of power, power from their position (legitimate power) and power because of their role in a business (referent power). Because many leaders focus almost only on their legitimate power, they focus on “what” needs to be done. They don’t focus on “how” it needs to be done.
This simple shift in focus leads to vague mission statements, inefficient business processes and policies out of touch with the reality of the workplace.
The Diamond Process solves this problem. It reinforces the need for balancing both types of power — legitimate and referent –along with both upper-level strategies (like mission, vision, etc.) and ground-level strategies. This focus on both sides of the equation (people and process, bird’s eye view and ground-level perspective) offers the key to successful leadership. And the Diamond Process model looks at developing the habits for this kind of leadership.
Diamond is a former Major General in the U.S. Army with 35 years as an active duty member and a reservist. Upon leaving the Army, he served in leadership roles ranging from the front lines to the executive suite. Diamond is the founder of Diamond Strategy Group, a leadership consultancy.
Co-author Harding also has a distinguished military career and has worked as an air traffic controller and network administrator. He is now acquisitions program manager at an Air Force base.
What Was Best About Reading The Diamond Process?
The Diamond Process deserves a lot of credit for recognizing leadership as a two-way process. Many books on leadership approach leadership from a one-sided view. They focus on what leaders should expect from their team. “The Diamond Process” explains what team members should expect from their leaders. The book then details how leaders can build on this standard to create a high-performing organization. The book starts from the ground up, covering almost every planning detail you can possibly think of.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
The Diamond Process was written by two people who spent a career in the military. (One author is still in the military.) This heavily influences the content and approach of the book. The leadership approach is predominantly top-down and deeply detailed. The Diamond Process model is especially detailed (and may even be a little intimidating for some ) so this is something to watch out for. The concepts behind the model are simple to grasp, however.
Why Read The Diamond Process?
The Diamond Process is the kind of book you need when it’s time to overhaul your entire leadership approach. The authors showcase some situations where they actually used The Diamond Process to transform teams that did the work but didn’t go beyond. This is where the book shines. If you are working with an organization, business or team that is just going through the motions, this book should help. Instead of relying on simple pep talks and inspirational quotes, the book provides a comprehensive approach leaders can follow to revamp their organization and keep it running smoothly.
Charles, Thanks for the very fair, balanced and objective review. I have actually had a parallel corporate career while serving in the Army. I was able to apply lessons learned from corporate organizations in the military and vice versa to provide a best of breed that worked its way into the book.
Thanks again for sharing.
We could always use some extra tips for productivity. For that dictates the future results.