I get a bi-weekly e-newsletter from the American Management Association that occasionally has an article that gives me a reason to blog. This time it is Super Size Productivity Now: 3% Automation, 97% Leadership by Kathleen Brush. She talks about how organizations can create more real productivity - and it's nearly all down to leadership, according to this article.
Organizations that want to supersize productivity must maintain a dual focus on automation and employee motivation. Companies will soon find that productivity that sustains organizations is 3% automation and 97% leadership. Developing motivational leaders is a two step process: (1) Exterminate demotivating practices and behaviors; and (2) address the drivers of motivation.
As you might guess from this excerpt, the article is mostly around motivation and the depressing statistics from the Deloitte Shift Index that while productivity is up, employee morale continues to drop.
One element that this doesn't address is the need for focus that management can provide - and that they often kill by sending mixed messages. In this sense, management's job is to provide the clear signals about priority and focus. There can only be one priority system and it needs to remain stable over long periods. No more telling people that X is the top priority today and then asking them to shift tomorrow to Y and then again to Z on the next day. And make sure your measurement systems don't encourage behaviors that don't support the focus.