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The Productivity Double Standard

Friday, March 9, 2012 by Slaughter Development

Business process improvement is a major initiative of many companies. So why aren’t executives looking to improve their own efficiency?

That’s the complaint of a new piece from Time Back Management. It makes a couple of bold comparisons:

On the shop floor: Looking for a tool is waste.
In the C-suite: looking for information is part of work.
We’d never accept a skilled machinist spending time looking for tools…In the C-suite though? Who hasn’t spent 2, 3, 5 minutes—or more—looking for important information in piles of paper or long email strings?

On the shop floor: Do everything possible to ensure that people can work without interruption.
In the C-suite: Interruptions are so commonplace that they’re hardly even recognized.

… between open door policies and a lack of forethought, people in the office suffer an interruption every 11 minutes, with serious consequences for the quality and efficiency of their work.

On the shop floor: Everyone is on the lookout for the waste of waiting.
In the C-suite: On-time meetings are a joke.

Everyone [in production] understands the waste of waiting, and uses that problem as an opportunity to improve. Now, consider meetings in the C-suite. People wait all the time for the whole group to arrive and meetings to start.

These are hilarious, but poignant. We want business process improvement, yet the most expensive people in the company are in many respects the least efficient. What’s going on?

As we’ve noted before on The Methodology Blog, you don’t need management buy-in to achieve true business process improvement. But you do need something which many people (executive or otherwise) can find challenging: humility. If you’re not willing to change, you aren’t likely to see improvement.

At Slaughter Development, we seek to help our clients with business process improvement consulting. The greatest difficulty is not the tools, but the mentality. If you’re truly ready to change, reach out.  We’d love to help your firm become a more efficient, more effective and more satisfying place to work.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

The Double Audience, Double Editing Rule - Robby Slaughter, founder and principal of Slaughter Development, asked an interesting question in a recent guest post published on Delivra’s blog: How do you improve communications, and what does this have to do with email marketing?
Read on »
Seven Weeks, Seven Productivity Tips - Go look at the calendar. It’s mid-November, which means there are a mere seven weeks left in 2009. Now is the time to look forward and prepare to make 2010 your best year yet.
Read on »
Five Productivity Secrets - Great advice is that which stands the test of time. Here are five productivity tips from January 2010 that make serious sense in 2011.
Read on »
Want to learn more? Register now for the 2012 Productivity Series

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