27
Jul
09

Five Keys to Measuring Productivity

I wrote an article about this topic several (and I do mean several) years ago published in the Houston Business Journal.  Here are the original Five Keys:

  1. Keep it Balanced – Incorporate both leading measures that drive performance and lagging measures that are outcome, or results-oriented.
  2. Know the Organization – Align productivity objectives with the mission and strategy of the organization.
  3. Establish Credibility – Make sure there is buy-in and keep it simple.
  4. Ensure Integrity – Use measures to track progress against goals or targets, not to create competition among teams, business units or individuals.
  5. Share Results  – Establish who will receive what results when.

The context in which the keys were originally designed — “productivity is an expectation that employees produce output that gives rise to, and forwards, company goals” could be altered to “productivity is the innate ability of every individual to express, produce or give rise to” — period.  From a Shaman’s point-of-view it could be said that the only reason we do anything is to express and connect with other people.  It could be said that business is really a construct for people to do that – express and connect – and only that. From this context, the Five Keys to Measuring Productivity would be:

  1. Keep it Un-Balanced – Incorporate both leading measures that drive performance and lagging measures that are outcome, or results-oriented.  Focus on the leading measure – have more leading measures than lagging, include measures that express expression.  Allow individuals to design their own leading and lagging measures – incorporate them.
  2. Know the Organization / Individual Connection – Align productivity objectives with the mission and strategy of the organization.  Include the mission, vision, and values of individuals involved in the organization.
  3. Nurture Credibility –  Credibility should be nurtured, never established.  Make sure the company keeps it’s word. Make sure there is buy-in to productivity measures, that people are aligned and inspired, and keep it simple.
  4. Ensure Integrity – Don’t have a whole lot of goals or targets, and never design measures that encourage a breach of an individuals ethics, or pit them against one another.
  5. Share the Good and the Bad Results  – Establish who will receive what results when e.g. everyone whenever they want them.

Measures are important…..they set the edges of the garden in which a business can grow.  Measures should never, however, rule us and they should above all, support every individual to view and expand their expression and connection – ultimately creating a profitable bottom-line that everyone can feel good about.

View the original article published under my non-pen name, Brenda Rarey, as “Get all employees on board when dealing with productivity issues” Houston Business Journal



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