Why Highly Efficient Leaders Fail

Harvard Business

Productivity Digital ArticleIf focusing on your to-do list means you aren’t focusing on your employees, that’s a problem.

How to turn marketing efficiency into growth

McKinsey

Chief Strategy, Product and Marketing Officer Libby Chambers explains how it’s done. At Western Union, fueling growth starts with taking a hard look at how effective current marketing programs are. Our Insights

Great Companies Obsess Over Productivity, Not Efficiency

Harvard Business

Business leaders often think of “efficiency” and “productivity” as synonyms, two sides of the same coin. When it comes to strategy, however, efficiency and productivity are very different. At a time when so many companies are starved for growth, senior leaders must bring a productivity mindset to their business and remove organizational obstacles to workforce productivity. Efficiency is about doing the same with less.

Building efficient IT organizations: Insights from our benchmarks

McKinsey

A focus on five high-level capabilities may help IT organizations reduce costs, improve productivity, and successfully pursue digital innovation. Our Insights

Are You Productive Enough?

Harvard Business

Productive: “Achieving or producing a significant amount of result.” ” As a time management coach, I’m keenly aware that you could answer the question “Am I productive enough?” I’m also familiar with the fact that individuals fall on a productivity spectrum. One person’s maximum productivity for a certain role in a particular environment could look vastly different from another person’s.

Rethinking pharma productivity

McKinsey

Six situations present opportunities for executives to reignite programs that optimize efficiency and cost. Many companies’ efforts to do more with less have stalled. Our Insights

How to Combine Productivity with Mindfulness

Women in Consulting

By: Pierre Khawand. :: You may have heard of a productivity method called the Pomodoro Technique , developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. This necessitates a new generation of productivity apps that help us practice mindfulness at work.

7 Traits of Super-Productive People

Harvard Business

Is there someone on your team who seems unusually productive? Super-productive people are in every industry. The most productive software developers write nine times more usable code per day than the average developer, according to research by Michael Mankins. We collected data on over 7,000 people who were rated by their manager on their level of their productivity and 48 specific behaviors. Few things kill productivity faster than a lack of knowledge or expertise.

How Companies Are Using Machine Learning to Get Faster and More Efficient

Harvard Business

Although machine-reengineering is new, companies are already seeing striking results with it, particularly in boosts to speed and efficiency. Arria has found that the process changes can increase knowledge workers’ productivity by 25%.

Until You Have Productivity Skills, Productivity Tools Are Useless

Harvard Business

But once I had, I realized how much the software and gadgets helped me to kick my productivity into high gear. This is an important point that is often overlooked when people try new productivity tools, and when organizations introduce new tools to employees.

The Paradox of Workplace Productivity

Harvard Business

At its most basic, productivity is the amount of value produced divided by the amount of cost (or time) required to do so. It’s tempting to conclude that, if individuals are able to perform their work much better and faster, overall productivity must be soaring.

How to Win with Automation (Hint: It’s Not Chasing Efficiency)

Harvard Business

With automation driving down value in some activities and increasing the value of others, we redesign our work processes so that people are focused on the areas where they can deliver the most value by partnering with machines to become more productive.” ” So the key to winning in the era of automation, where robots do jobs formerly performed by humans, is not simply more efficiency, but to explore and identify how greater efficiency creates demand for new jobs to be done.

The Goldilocks Theory of Product Success

Harvard Business

Fast forward more than a century to the launch of the Toyota Prius, which succeeded not by going full electric, but making a gas-powered car, something people were already familiar with, more energy efficient. So they used design, rather than the product itself, to create differentiation.

6 Rules to Simplify Work & Increase Productivity

Tom Spencer

Morieux gives an example of a car manufacturer that threatened to move its production engineers to the after-sales warranty department after a car went into production. The car manufacturer tried to do this by moving its production engineers to the warranty department.

Centralized Decision Making Helps Kill Bad Products

Harvard Business

Killing products isn’t easy. Engineers and managers toil for months, often years, to conceive, develop, and launch new products. So to see those products go down in flames (literally, as in the case of the Samsung Note 7), often creates a very difficult choice: try to improve the quality and support for products or terminate them. Centralized structures speed product termination because they aggregate information about the whole portfolio at the top.

Passion Versus Profession – Are Management Consulting and Music Production Really That Different?

Tom Spencer

It is also important to involve multiple people in the production process – most songs you hear on the radio have different people responsible for composition, performance, mixing, and mastering, which helps to spot mistakes and prevent what I call “creative bubbles” – when you get so used to thinking about a certain concept that you stop being open to other ideas. Management Consulting client-specific issues creative bubbles industry recipes music production perspective

Innovation Is as Much About Finding Partners as Building Products

Harvard Business

But the startup could not keep pace with the development and scale of established battery makers, and production defects led to a $55 million recall in 2012 and contributed to the company’s bankruptcy later that year. Acquired out of bankruptcy by a Chinese company to focus on the burgeoning domestic market, A123 recently announced it will close its Michigan plant as it winds down production of lithium-ion batteries in the U.S.

Digitization, automation, and online testing: The future of pharma quality control

McKinsey

Emerging technologies can make quality control (QC) faster and more efficient. Insights on Pharmaceuticals & Medical ProductsWhat do pharma companies need to do to become QC leaders?

How Many Versions of a Product Do Consumers Really Want?

Harvard Business

Consumers almost always tell researchers that they prefer to have many versions of a product from which to choose. For retailers, that difference has big implications for the problem of assortment — how many variations of a single product to offer. But when seeking to meet a utilitarian need with the same product, they are less inclined to see their preferences as being greatly different from those of other people. Holger Weitzel/Getty Images.

Research: Stale Office Air Is Making You Less Productive

Harvard Business

How often do you consider the air quality in your office and how it affects employees and their productivity? Given these studies tying air quality to health, we wanted to see whether improved ventilation affects cognitive function, an indicator of worker productivity. These are exactly the skills needed to be productive in the knowledge economy. When energy-efficient ventilation systems are used, the cost would be $1–$10 per person per year.

The Right Kind of Conflict Leads to Better Products

Harvard Business

When partners in an alliance come into conflict, it can be just what is needed to produce a technically and commercially successful product. ” Lilly recently analyzed fourteen years of data to understand the relationship between the health of these alliances (as evidenced by the ratings on the survey) and the technical and commercial success of the products on which they worked. ” This idea that disagreement and conflict between groups can be productive is not new.

Bad Writing Is Destroying Your Company’s Productivity

Harvard Business

And the whole organization drowns in productivity-draining blather. Clear leadership, expressed in writing, creates alignment and boosts productivity. So marketers and the rest of the company can move forward in a united and productive way. A culture of clear writing makes managers more productive. That’s worth the effort, because it means everyone in the organization — especially management — will end up more productive.

Do Your Customers Actually Want a “Smart” Version of Your Product?

Harvard Business

Our products work with apps or without apps. In our minds, the whole package was a tremendous leap forward in terms of efficiency, convenience, and comfort. What Customers Actually Did With Smart Products. Our residential products don’t require an app to do their job; instead, they come with a variety of control options, an app among them. Rogers’ classic Diffusion of Innovation Theory – buy products en masse after the “early adopters.”

How Amazon’s Higher Wages Could Increase Productivity

Harvard Business

But thinking only about the costs involved in raising wages misses a key issue: pay hikes can also boost workplace productivity. Ford himself called it his finest cost-cutting move, because of the boost to productivity that came as a result. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Consultant Ninja: Information Visualization Irony: Management.

Consultant Ninja

It lacks functionality and an efficient UI, and is overpriced." - Andy Holaday "Its a cascading hierarchy of awfulness, which almost makes it challenging to critique!" - Tim Wilson "But it’s not just the people with the purse strings who will buy something because its a) pretty, b) expensive and c) they’ve heard of it." - N Barrett. Productivity. (6). skip to main | skip to sidebar. Consultant Ninja.

Manufacturing Companies Need to Sell Outcomes, Not Products

Harvard Business

A piece of machinery to meet a product need? For instance, in a traditional, customer-centric organization, marketers identify customer segments across multiple dimensions, then define solutions (a mix of products and services) to meet each segment’s needs.

In Product Development, Let Your Customers Define Perfection

Harvard Business

In an era of high-stakes innovation, there is no clearer illustration of how to develop new products the right way (and the wrong way) than a tale of two car companies. How Porsche got the product right. That was heartening to the company’s executives and product designers.

Why the Most Productive People Don’t Always Make the Best Managers

Harvard Business

When a company needs a supervisor for a team, senior leaders often anoint the team’s most productive performer. In another article, we explained the seven behaviors of the most productive people, based on an analysis of 7,000 workers. They are valued skills and make people more productive, but all except for the last one (collaboration) focus on the individual rather than the team. andy sacks/Getty Images.

The 8 Digital Productivity Tools Everyone Should Adopt

Harvard Business

For most people, the goal is to adopt the smallest number of tools necessary to work efficiently. Skitch solves both these problems, making it easier to share an error message with tech support, grab a product listing you want to save or share, or store an online receipt.

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Air Pollution Is Making Office Workers Less Productive

Harvard Business

Businesses invest a great deal of time and money in interventions that claim to increase workers’ productivity through on-the-job training, new protocols, advice from consultants, and so on. Recent research suggests that there’s a surprising input into productivity that no one ever thinks about: clean air. But recent research has gone further, starting to catalog how pollution might affect our productivity.

The Productivity Booster You Have in Your Pocket, But Probably Don’t Use

Harvard Business

The idea that this software will genuinely save us time and increase our productivity is not yet taken seriously by business people or the general public. Though different manufacturers describe their products differently, there’s a substantial commonality: Change settings: “Turn on airplane mode,” or “Find my phone.” Siri has been around since iPhone 3 (2009) but it’s never quite cut it as a credible time saver or productivity enhancer.

Oil Patch Problems: Rigs Down 60%, Production Down 3%, $40-$50 Price Doesn't Work

MishTalk

So even as rig counts collapsed, production is barely off the highs, at a price that isn't even profitable. But the recent drop toward $40 a barrel and below puts even the most efficient operators in a bind.

Selling Products Is Good. Selling Projects Can Be Even Better

Harvard Business

In the beginning companies sold products. A focus on products means a focus on selling running shoes. Selling products limits the revenues you can make from clients: Unless you are innovating and continually updating your product offering, customer attrition tends to be high, and incentivizing repurchases can be hard. More so than products, the possibilities with projects are endless. From Products to Projects at Philips. Westend61/Getty Images.

Digitization, automation, and online testing: The future of pharma quality control

McKinsey

Emerging technologies can make quality control (QC) faster and more efficient. Insights on Pharmaceuticals & Medical ProductsWhat do pharma companies need to do to become QC leaders?

Spending reviews: A more powerful approach to ensuring value in public finances

McKinsey

Spending reviews have the potential to provide significant insight into budget allocations, enabling higher productivity and greater operational efficiency.

Michigan OCS Reduces Call Volume, Increases Caseworker Productivity

1 to 1

For the Office of Child Support at the Michigan Department of Human Services, efficiency remains critical, as this division serves nearly one million families throughout the state.

How a Flex-Time Program at MIT Improved Productivity, Resilience, and Trust

Harvard Business

Our flex-time program also delivers financial gain for us in the form of increased productivity, regardless of the weather. Our team members were able to put in full, productive days from their homes, without the stress of driving in the snow or having to take delayed mass transit options.

Doubling a $400,000 Revenue Model With Business Trainer Blair Enns: Podcast #22

Consulting Success

In this episode, we are talking about ways that you can effectively position yourself as an expert in your field, how to get your expertise recognized, and the danger of productizing your work, as well as what you should be doing instead. With productized, you do it the other way around.

eBook 148

A Study of Hospitals Found That Outsider CEOs Make Their Organizations More Productive in the Long Run

Harvard Business

Our research , which focused on CEO succession in the American health care system, examined the impact of CEO succession on productivity and efficiency. We found that any type of leadership change will result in short-term adverse impacts on a firm’s operational efficiency, but outsider CEOs experienced a clear advantage in productivity gains. Lee Powers/Getty Images.

What’s behind the pharmaceutical sector’s M&A push

McKinsey

There are lessons for other industries in the way pharma companies use mergers to innovate, work more efficiently, and bolster product portfolios. Strategy & Corporate Finance Insights