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The unexpected payoff of being more productive

 In Business decisions, Happiness, Insights, Not for profit, Productivity, Realizer Blog, Teams

The unexpected payoff of being more productive

After a 2-month productivity pilot with Heart Research Australia, their CEO Nicci Dent, said to me, “actually what happened was that even though productivity increased, that wasn’t the biggest benefit; the biggest change was in the positive attitude in the team. Everyone is talking about great work and the culture has shifted up a gear in terms of positivity.”

Our pilot had begun with a half day workshop to challenge the HRA team with new ways of getting Organised, Prioritizing and Performing – the 3 steps in our productivity system. During that session we asked the team, “What is Great Work?” and they collectively worked out that four things defined Great Work, including for example Innovation and Learning as two of the factors.

Once they’d defined this, they reorganized their regular meetings around these four areas, which meant they were constantly focused on their Great Work.

In addition, they took some other practical steps to be more productive. First they trialled using an app to manage their to do lists. We recommend Evernote, although there are many options which help make your to do list more effective. Second, they developed a system of flags to signal to each other when they were in deep focus on a piece of work – and therefore not to be interrupted.

With these steps in place, we measured their productivity and compared it to before the pilot. We saw them gain 50 minutes each per day to focus on their great work. We also saw they were 26% more likely to ask themselves if what they were working on was contributing to their long term goals, and there was a big increase in capturing all their to do’s in one place to get organized.

But more than all that, there was a positivity payoff – and this was the icing on the cake for Nicci.

Written by Rob Pyne