A Systems-Process Orientation with the L-C-S Framework and Clockface Models

The first book cover of mine with one of these two models used the clockface model – see the graphic above – for a specific purpose…more on that in a few.

The T&D Systems (Process-bundles) may have been a bit force-fitted into 12 – it’s been a long time since the first draft – going back to the early 1990s – and that first draft is different from this final version…the 2001 version – after all, you’ve got to stop playing with models to publish them in some-sort-of-final-form – even though they could reasonably evolve forever. Just as the language does/has. Think T&D ~ Learning.

The next book used the L-C-S Framework…

Note that there are 14 Systems or SubSystems in that model – labeled AoPs – for analyzing a Management job/role.

The purpose here and in other applications is to segregate the core processes of any organizational entity from the other types of processes. Why?


  • Every Enterprise/BU/Function/Department/Team has its own “Core” processes, even if they are not consider “Core” – such as the Payroll department within the HR function. This helps to recognize that reality – without diss’ing them. (Disrespecting them).
  • All of the Leadership Systems/Processes and Support Processes may be participated in by any function/department/team/individual…but are probably “owned” by some other function/department/team/individual. This enables capturing both those processes that an entity owns – and those that are owned elsewhere – but are supported/participated in none-the-less.

In the newest book (co-authored with Ray Svenson – and the book is not quite available yet) we used the L-C-S as well to capture and organize and present many processes. With 9 Systems/SubSystems…as their “parents.”

In this case the folks doing the work in the CORE are not exactly the same folks (there can indeed be overlap) doing the leadership, which is often different than those doing the SUPPORT process performance.

For me the Systems and SubSystems thing – and their differences – is quite arbitrary (as many things in life are) – my focus is on Processes. Which are also quite arbitrary – as in: when does one stop and another begin? And I use AoPs (Areas of Performance -see that second graphic above) to sometimes further breakdown Processes that are too large for analysis (in my analysis methods) – they are just too unwieldy.

Arguments/debates are likely – that’s the nature of arbitrary things. It’s not clear cut. And therefore open to debate, more debate, and endless debate.

But why convert the L-C-S into a clockface model…whether 12 points on the face or 14? As done in the next graphic?

For the center space. To begin to think by myself or with a team visually about the inputs and outputs between Systems/SubSystems/Processes. Or to share our thoughts visually with any reviewers later.

As in this example…

The Center Space of the Clockface model does what cannot be done via the L-C-S Model. It provides a “play space” for picturing the intersections of processes via the Outputs/Inputs. Not Inputs/Outputs.

I like to think about “Outputs as Inputs” – always.

And to think about the stakeholders who themselves decide what is good/bad or indifferent about the Output (and many times the Process and/or Inputs too). Those decisions about what is “good/not good” “acceptable/not acceptable” are not limited to the customer or the customer’s customer, etc. Internal and/or External. The customer is not king!

Some stakeholders do not care about the Output! They may only want to know that no child labor laws were violated in the Process. Or that the Inputs are not hazardous to the health of the employees.

I need to think about those perspectives/requirements as well – when designing new or changed processes and/or in analyzing the current state before prescriptions are made about future states.

I’ve caught some gruff complaints about how this analysis approach isn’t systemic even if done systematically. Analysis = breaking things down. That definition needs updating – I agree. Otherwise analysis of big rocks concludes only that they are composed of little rocks.

Getting Systemic
But isn’t breaking things down necessary to better understand their relationships? The relationships of the piece parts to one another and to elements external to what is being broken down? To be systemic about it all? I think so.

And if the factors (requirements. constraints, etc.) that influence Processes are outside of the entity that is pictured by our clockface graphic – then we can lay two of them side-by-side and visually draw the interconnects!

Pictures speak thousands (or dozens) of words.

And that’s my story – and I am sticking to it.

Just remember: Adopt or Adapt – As Appropriate. It’s the smart thing to do. Sometimes NIH is also “not appropriate here.”

Be careful when benchmarking for just those realities!

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