Peter Drucker quipped, ‘Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.’ Early in my career, I focused obsessively on innovations in productivity. The really hard part, though, is convincing an organisation that a better way of delivering greater productivity exists. Allow me to try.
Collaboration has progressed from a buzzword to an article of faith in today’s organisations. Books talk about how to do it better and tools claim to make it ever easier to share ideas and plan projects. But what task are you collaborating on? Something so simple, and yet something so often neglected—how to properly define
Think of a production system and you’ll probably conjure up some kind of assembly line. Whether you imagine humans or machines doing the work, this mental model feels wedded to manufacturing. It needn’t be—production principles are universal. An airline’s check-in desk is part of a production line. So is the hospital’s procedure for admitting patients.
The real cost of any decision is what you forego by making that choice. In economics, the cost of a decision based on the cost of the next best option is called the opportunity cost. At its most poetic, Henry David Thoreau put it thus: ‘the price of anything is the amount of life you
In Part One, I wrote about the kind of challenges we all face when trying to define the human, material, information and financial resources available to us. In small groups, we can estimate what is reasonable and possible simply by talking to people and seeing what they have on their plate. But as our projects
Most organisations vastly underestimate how wasteful they are with their resources. We need to get much better at thinking systemically and acting systematically in the planning and performance of our work. To aspire to achieve lofty goals, we must lift our ability to properly measure and deeply understand the immutable laws of the supply of,