Saturday, 24 November 2012

A Slap in the Face

Maneesh Sethi wrote on his blog that he hired a "slapper" to smack him in the face whenever he logged onto Facebook while working and boasted that it increased his productivity.

Of course, Sethi must have diagnosed the fact that accessing Facebook was causing him to lose productivity. His solution was drastic ... but imaginative.

Think what you might do to create a metaphorical slap in the face for yourself ... or your organisation. What is it that might currently be draining focus and efficiency? How can you draw attention to it? How can you stop it happening?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

A formula for innovation

Thomas Friedman suggests that “big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.”

So, leaders of successful companies are those that recognise both sides of that formula - they know what is needed, and they identify when solutions become possible ... and they identify this before their competitors.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Different Strokes

I've been to several countries in the last few months.

All of them need higher productivity BUT ...

Each of them has to define just what higher productivity means in their particular context; each of them has to prioritise where they most need higher productivity; each of them has to decide how they might make the improvements they have prioritised.

So, a national productivity campaign would look quite different in each of these places. Of course there would be similarities ... and overlaps ... but any campaign must be 'flavoured' by the responses to the three points above and by the history and culture of the particular country.

This is also the reason that consultants with pre-packaged productivity solutions often offer sub-optimal advice!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Snake Oil

If you read lots of press releases ... as I do (yes, I know I should 'get a life'), you soon realise that just about everything is claimed to improve productivity.

Most often such 'stories' relate to what is termed 'personal productivity' ... the kind of 'productivity' that is aided by powernapping, reminder software, crystals, copper bracelets, iPads, honey ... you get the picture.

These claims are accompanied by details of a survey or study ... which almost always is based on a self-selecting constituency. Again, you know the kind of thing. "60% of people say eating chocolate mid-morning helps productivity" says the President of the Chocolate-Eating Guild after a survey of members.

So, if you do see a claim about productivity, check out the credentials of any study ... and, even then, keep you tongue in your cheek and your money in your pocket.