There is some debate about whether a concentration on productivity is bad for creativity. However this is a fallacy. Over-concentration on quality – and especially compliance – can be bad for productivity, but productivity and creativity are natural bedfellows.
So it depends on how broadly or narrowly you interpret productivity. Rigid compliance to standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the name of productivity might stifle productivity unless you give your employees another avenue where they can exercise invention and innovation.
My old friend, Tor Dahl, always used to say that a natural approach to improving productivity is to:
(a) unfreeze the organisation – allow staff the time and opportunity to contribute ideas as to how what they do might be improved
(b) experiment with those ideas to arrive at new ways of working
(c) re-freeze the organisation by creating new SOPs to reflect the new ways of working and lock in the productivity gains.
Some time later, repeat the cycle.
Then we ensure that creativity is encouraged and that it underpins higher productivity.