“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” — Paul J. Meyer
If your business doesn’t have productivity objectives, it doesn’t have direction.
If your business doesn’t have productivity measurements, it doesn’t have control.
I think the meta-point is, assuming both businesses produce effective results, the more efficient one wins in the long run.
That’s consistent with my experience.
I think another important point here is that if you focus on your productivity, you can usually find a lot of opportunity for innovation in your processes.
In The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management, Peter Drucker explains that productivity is the best yardstick for comparing management effectiveness.
Key Take Aways
Here are my key take aways:
- Results are the best way to compare effectiveness. Productivity is the best tool for comparing effectiveness. Your yield is directly related to the effectiveness and efficiency of your production.
- Quality of management is a key differentiater. The quality of management differentiates one business from another in the same field. It’s a game of survival of the fittest.
- Focus on continuous productivity improvement. Management’s most important job is continuous productivity improvement. This leads to innovations. Being productive doesn’t necessarily mean making more things, it means producing more of the right results efficiently.
Productivity measures are the key to control.
Are you in control of your business?
Objectives are Direction, Measurement is Control
Productivity is central. You need to be able to measure productivity, or you don’t really have control.
“Productivity is a difficult concept, but it is central. Without productivity objectives, a business does not have direction. Without productivity measurements, it does not have control.”
Productivity is the Best Yardstick
Productivity is the best tool for comparing management effectiveness across your enterprise.
“A productivity measurement is the best yardstick for comparing management of different units within an enterprise, and for comparing managements of different enterprises.”
Productivity is the Degree to Which Resources are Utilized
The quality of management differentiates one business from another in the same field.
“All businesses have access to pretty much the same resources. Except for the rare monopoly situation, the only thing that differentiates one business from another in any given field is the quality of its management on all levels.
The first measurement of this critical factor is productivity, that is, the degree to which resources are utilized and their yield.”
Continuous Productivity Improvement
Management’s most important job is continuous productivity improvement.
“The continual improvement of productivity is one of management’s most important jobs. It is also one of the most difficult; for productivity is a balance among a diversity of factors, few of which are easily definable or clearly measurable.”
Labor is Only One Factor
According to Drucker, there’s three major resources when you’re considering productivity objectives: land, labor and capital.
Drucker writes that you can’t let labor make the other resources less productive.
“Labor is only one of the three factors of production. And if productivity of labor is accomplished by making the other resources less productive, there is actually loss of productivity.”
If you want to control your business, focus on productivity.