I have been reflecting quite a bit recently about this topic, and the potential for further improvements in personal efficiency. Overall company efficiency is the sum of the component parts i.e. the aggregate efficiencies. This is why it is important to stay focused on our personal efficiency. I have blogged about productive people before, but quite often we think we are better than we actually are. One factor is that in the corporate or large company world, we can get sucked into “Other People’s Waste”. What do I mean by that? Inevitably we have to work in teams , whether that be large or small. Each team member will carry with them their own waste.
So what what does this actually mean ? In the same way that efficiency can be aggregated, waste can be compounded. It is similar to ineffective communication, every time there is a dialogue touch point in the chain, there is an opportunity for misunderstanding which can also be compounded, leading potentially to total confusion. Every time I do consulting for large organisations, the individual employees frustration is the same, “I am being as efficient as I can be, but others inefficiencies or systemic bureaucracy slows me down”. This is where clear expectations need to be set by the company. Standards and internal processes must be set by the company, but this is not the only factor, and will not solve everything. There is an element of mutual personal respect that should be followed. The principle is very simple, you respect not just your associates and teams, but their time too. This is the difference between “Interdependent” and “Independent” cultures. In interdependent cultures, we think ahead, and think about others. A huge amount of time is wasted on communication, and paperwork, and most of it is hidden because people will hide their frustrations for fear of being labelled a nuisance. It is the same with meeting effectiveness, and I have led sessions on this too. Although the principles of meeting effectiveness are well understood in large companies, they are not always followed through, or get diluted over time.
We need to drive the principles of waste reduction endlessly, and have a culture of mutual respect. That will drive higher levels of personal performance, leading to business effectiveness and efficiencies. If you are interested in the principles of personal performance, please visit our downloads page, and download some practical guidance and help on the theory of the DILO (Day in the Life Of).