Organizational Leadership Means Focusing on the Right Kind of Productivity

Technology has caused tidal waves of change in the workplace, and there’s no clearer evidence of this when it comes to organizational leadership, than in the area of productivity.

The levels of personal productivity that are now possible have skyrocketed. With the advent of email, the Internet and cloud-based sharing platforms have catapulted what’s possible into futuristic realms that we never dreamed of just a quarter century ago.

Organizational LeadershipStrangely, then, that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that US overall labor productivity growth actually decreased by 2.2% in the first quarter of last year.

What’s going on?

Some think the answer lies in how you view productivity.  While those technological advances have made it impossible to dramatically improve personal productivity, that happens to be something very different from team productivity and enterprise productivity.

  1. Sound organizational leadership means zooming out on productivity.

    What leadership analysts are finding is that personal productivity doesn’t always add up to enterprise-level productivity.  Just because Mary is getting her job done well and on time and she’s incredibly efficient doesn’t mean her work group is functioning at peak levels of efficiency.

    In other words, the whole is less than the sum of its parts!  In fact, you can have a team where every single employee on that team is highly productive, great at their jobs, but at the team level, productivity is low.  Same goes for the enterprise: you can’t have company-wide productivity levels at their peak if your teams aren’t functioning at peak levels.

  2. What can you do?

    Thinking in terms of organizational leadership, it’s important to think about the right kinds of productivity.  While productivity tools are wonderful for the potential they represent, it’s equally important to sit back and assess what your team is doing as a group.

    How is communication on your team?  Are people able to see eye to eye or does communication break down whenever there are differing points of view on matters?

    Are your teams able to collaborate effectively?  Do they share information willingly for the greater good, or do they hoard info in misguided attempts at strengthening their own positions?

    Or perhaps you have a team of all-star players who compete too much to be very productive?  A little competition is good but when it gets in the way of productivity-makers like good communication and collaboration, it’s too much.  Organizational leadership means asking yourself all these questions so that your team can be productive, and eventually your entire enterprise.