Maximizing or optimizing?

Zuloaga ImatgeArtículos, Blog English, Fran ChuánLeave a Comment


Transcript of a conversation between several executives of the same company in a group session we managed with a management team a few months ago.

Executive 1: «Observing, helping others and reading about the motivations that drive us as individuals, I have concluded we can increase the productivity of everybody in our organization, and thus improve the quality and profitability of our results.»

Executive 2: «Yes, I agree most likely it is true. How do you think this productivity improvement process should be carried out?»

Executive 1: «I really do not know. I am not familiar enough with the different techniques we could use, but my conviction is strong. I know we can improve because until now we have not focused much on people.»

Executive 3: «Agree. This is an interesting reflection. It looks to me we put more emphasis and priority in our work on ​​processes and systems, but we do not go further.»

Executive 2: «I ​​had not really thought much about it, but I think we spend a lot of time and resources on the selection of new hires, reducing costs, and replacing people based on parameters of performance and resource optimization. However, we fail to motivate them to increase their productivity.»

The discussion continued, ending with the creation of an action plan to increase productivity through innovation in the interactions between management and employees.

There was a sentence written on a flipchart that we take the freedom to share despite not being ours:

«What would happen if we focused on maximizing productivity and income rather than optimizing cost reduction?» 

We can say that a few months after this shift in focus, our customer has significantly improved their profit margin and, also very important, reduced their rate of regretted attrition.

Fran Chuán

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