Can we raise productivity by doing less?

Well, if that lesser activity has a greater impact, then Yes, We Can.

You need to shift the mindset of your managers to concentrate on key results and key impacts, rather than counting units or activities or hours worked.

Focus on these impact activities and you start to moves the needle into the ‘golden zone’, that vertical thread that connects mission and vision, through objectives, through key performance indicators to actions and activities.  If that thread is broken, you are wasting resources.

Get your staff focused on key results and you should move the needle back to where it should be – where it has the most impact on productivity.

A popular (and iconic) example of this involved President Kennedy’s visit to the NASA Space Centre in the early 1960’s……

During the visit, President John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said ‘Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?’

‘Well, Mr. President’, the janitor responded, ‘I’m helping put a man on the moon.’

To the naked eye, this janitor was just cleaning the building, but in the more mythic, larger story unfolding around him, he was helping put a man on the moon. And the point is: No matter how large or small the role, employees are (or should be) contributing to the larger story unfolding within the business  – and to the ultimate mission.

They, and you, should be concentrating on what really matters.