I have been in the productivity’ business’ for longer than I care to remember.
Sometimes, I feel that the longer I am in the business, the less I know – or the less I feel confident to declare.
I started off as a ‘work study engineer’ – great training, but I soon realised that studying work was only a partial approach. To often, low productivity stems from ‘non-work’ system inefficiencies that surround the actual work.
So, I started to look at business processes and business systems.
Then I realised that often it wasn’t the system that was broken but the culture of the organisation that de-motivated and disengaged the people.
So, where do I now feel that the answer lies?
I think I have worked my way ‘up’ the organisational structure and feel that change (for the better) has to start at the top with a ‘planning and execution system’ that stems directly from the organisational mission. This must define and support ‘excellence’ and must translate into systems, processes and procedures – and skilled roles and tasks which build in individual and team responsibility for that excellence, together with performance measures that ensure we remain ‘on track’ with our plans and targets.
Can I define and design such an organisation and support system? Emphatically no! BUT I can facilitate its design and execution by business owners and leaders who share the vision of a skilled, trained, engaged workforce who know and understand their own roles within the overall organisational system.
We need to ‘flip’ the traditional representation of an organisation structure and see the role of managers and leaders as creating and sharing a vision of excellence and then identifying and removing the barriers that prevent ‘front line workers’ from creating that excellence.