Top-Shelf Tip No. 028:

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them."

Albert Einstein

Accomplish More In Less Time, Part 2

Are you looking for ways for your organization to be more productive? Yesterday, Promotional Consultant Today shared the first three steps of the Productivity Pyramid— a concept states that for productivity improvement activities to be effective and long-lasting, they can't be randomly performed. These activities must be organizationally grounded, systematically implemented and administratively supported. They must align with your corporate goals and culture, be implemented with formal plans based on anticipated results and able to be repeated going forward.

In this issue, we share three more key steps of the Productivity Pyramid.

Measurement: Productivity projects should be measured not only on the amount of time, money and resources they save, but also the organizational benefits they generate as a result. This step in the Productivity Pyramid defines the "opportunity cost" which would not have been possible without productivity gains. This realized opportunity cost is the true benefit of enhanced productivity.

Productivity Driven Reinvestment: Productivity driven reinvestment is an extension and application of the productivity measurement process. Simply put: it forces organizational efficiency by requiring future projects to be funded, at least partially, through the savings of current productivity projects.

This concept can be implemented in three ways. First, if you require a portion of all projects, say 10 percent, to be funded by productivity savings, then you drive efficiency into existing processes, while still providing needed funding for new initiatives. In effect, this forces managers to continue to search for organizational efficiencies within their existing operations and not just incrementally chase funding for the next hot project. Second, it can be used as a way to fund projects that are proposed after departmental budgets have been finalized. This gives managers a way to self-fund newly arising department activities. Lastly, if for business reasons your organization must keep spending flat, then this technique can be used as a way of funding new projects without increasing your overall budget.

Reiterative: As organizations mature, one of the key factors that drive their scale and profitability is their ability to efficiently and flawlessly perform the same task repeatedly. Regarding productivity enhancement, even though each individual project may take very different forms— such as time management, email reduction and meeting effectiveness— the overall process by which these initiatives are planned, approved, delivered and measured should be as consistent as possible. The ability to drive uniformity into the productivity improvement process will allow you to reap greater short term savings, as well as provide an ongoing framework that will help assure long-term sustainability and maximized cost savings.

By climbing each of the steps on the Productivity Pyramid you put your company in a position to reap a windfall of enhanced productivity. The main question is: how can you use the newly found time, money and resources that this productivity provides?

Source: Eric P. Bloom is the president and founder of Manager Mechanics LLC, a nationally recognized speaker and author of the forthcoming book Productivity Driven Success: Hidden Secrets of Organizational Efficiency. He is also a nationally syndicated columnist, certified executive coach, and an adjunct research advisor for IDC. He is also a past president of National Speakers Association New England.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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