How structured is your thinking? No less a figure than W Edwards Deming made the theory of knowledge one of four pillars in his System of Profound Knowledge. And yet, in my experience, very little structured thinking goes on in our modern workplaces.
Our evolution has been a constant struggle to find the balance between the chaos of primordial nature and the order of cultural development. As a species, our primal wiring is to fear the unknown. But nothing remains the same, and all things must pass.
Every dollar of the material prosperity we enjoy can find its roots in the industrial revolution and our ability to produce more for less. We came off the farms to work in the factories and delivered unprecedented growth in wealth for our toil.
Think of your life as a project. You’re born, get educated, go to work, typically start a family and want to make a difference before you hop the twig. But what difference can you make with your remarkably fleeting biblical allotment of three score and ten years? What motives sit beneath the activities you manifest
‘Productivity isn’t everything,’ wrote economist Paul Krugman, ‘but, in the long run, it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.’ Productivity is simply a ratio of outputs to inputs. We would all like to learn how
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.