A few thoughts on organisational culture and productivity

Productivity in many companies is at an all time low.

Management culture encourages busyness and long hours. We hand out promotions to those who wear long hours like a badge of honour.

Our managers go out of their way to recognise ‘hard work’ i.e. input, rather than the quality or outcome of the work ie. output. Not to mention other more productive behaviours like focus, prioritisation, agility or a well executed project plan.

We can’t or won’t disconnect from our work. We check our email inbox as soon as we wake up and keep our families waiting for us at the dinner table while we send off one last email. We talk about work at home with our spouse and at parties with out friends.

And yet…

Despite all this attention and effort, the work equivalent of a 24 hour news cycle, no more work is getting done and its quality is no greater.

Why? Because busyness is no indicator of productivity. Nor is it a corollary. Busyness is no more than laziness in disguise. The way we’re working is all wrong.

Let’s change it!

Let’s change the way we manage. Value output. Encourage productivity innovation. Reward outcomes, focus, prioritisation, agility and a well executed project plan over hours in the office or emails checked out of office hours.

Allow your people to work when and in a way that brings out their best, most creative, most collaborative and most passionate selves.

Then, and only then will any of us truly be productive.

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