Measuring productivity involves a combination of hard and soft measures, the soft ones being both the critical ones and the ones that have most impact.

In 15 years of consulting across a range of businesses and industries, I have come to the conclusion that there are three factors that at a macro level positively influence the capacity of an enterprise to build productivity in a continuous manner.

  1. They are cross functional
  2. They are decentralised, with a loose/tight management culture
  3. They are connected to customers in a range of ways not associated with the immediacy of the next sale.

None of these are easy to achieve individually, but they seem to be mutually supporting, so setting out to support the evolution of all three over time pays dividends. To do so takes confident and inclusive leadership, and a long term view of the purpose of the organisation.