Performance & Productivity
Knowledge workers create the innovations and strategies that deliver value and keep their companies competitive and the economy healthy.
Yet, companies continue to manage this new breed of employee with techniques designed for the industrial age. As this critical sector of the workforce continues to increase in size and importance, that’s a mistake that could cost companies their future. Knowledge workers are vastly different from other types of workers in their motivations, attitudes, and need for autonomy, and therefore they require different management techniques to improve their performance and productivity.
Performance and productivity are at the heart of creating value. It provides the frameworks and governing ideas that allow a company to identify opportunities for bringing value to customers and for delivering that value at a profit. But in a fast-changing competitive environment, the fundamental logic of value creation is also changing and in a way that makes clear strategic thinking simultaneously more important and more difficult. Traditional thinking about performance and productivity is grounded in the assumptions and the models of an industrial economy.
Global competition, changing markets and new technologies are opening up qualitatively new ways of performing tasks and creating value. Of course, more opportunities also mean more uncertainty and greater risk. Forecasts based on projections from the past become unreliable. Factors that have always seemed peripheral turn out to be key drivers of change in a company’s key markets. Invaders from previously unrelated sectors change the rules of the game overnight. In so volatile a competitive environment, it is no longer a matter of positioning a fixed set of activities along a value chain. Increasingly, successful companies do not just add value, they reinvent it. Their focus of strategic analysis is not the company or even the industry but the value-creating system itself, within which different economic participants – suppliers, business partners and customers – work together to co-produce value and higher performance. Their key strategic task is the reconfiguration of roles and relationships among this constellation of participants in order to mobilise the creation of value in new forms and by new players. And their underlying strategic goal is to create an ever-improving fit between competencies and customers.
Productivity is never an accident – it is the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and dedication.
Productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the leader.
The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude.