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The Productivity Crisis & How it’s Affecting your Company

by | Feb 27, 2020

Managing Director and Senior Partner at BCG, Yves Morieux speaks on the productivity crisis and the need for collaboration within companies.

This article will take about 3 minutes to read

The modern office has come a long way from it’s 1950’s counterpart. Gone are the typewriters, file cabinets and switchboards. Over the past 70 years, advancements in technology have made time consuming tasks such as these all but redundant.

Nevertheless, studies have found a global decline in productivity. Is this simply a factor of today’s workers wasting time? Or is something else affecting long term productivity?

According to Managing Director and Senior Partner at BCG, Yves Morieux, the culprit may be accountability.

At BCG Morieux has spent years working with companies to improve their corporate structure. He has developed a strategy that he calls “Smart Simplicity”. Essentially, the strategy consists of 6 rules which help teams work together to achieve complex goals.

In his Ted talk, Morieux calls attention to the problems caused by the demand for clear accountability. He notes that companies spend considerably more time deciding who to blame should something go wrong, than on actually trying to succeed.

“We are constantly trying to put accountability in someone’s hands. Who is accountable for this process? We need somebody accountable for this process. We pay more attention to knowing who to blame in case we fail, than to creating the conditions to succeed.” – Yves Morieux

Internally

Productive, efficient, and accountable. Three words often used to describe an ideal worker. Together with modern technology, these traits are more measurable than ever. Using cloud-based platforms, teams can easily track the actions of each member. And by the same token, measure their productivity.

Take Planhat as an example. Planhat is an organisational tool that helps teams manage customer engagement. The platform works with tools such as email and calling to present a complete record of contact with a customer. Each employee logs their engagement and each action is linked to a user.

In this way, managers can track employee/customer relationships. Thereby learning which employees are in touch with the most customers.

But at what cost? Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s helpful. As Morieux points out, this may lead to workers spending more time focused on their planhat record than on the customer. After all, if individual achievement is the focus of management, individual achievement will be prioritised by workers.


In other words, employees may prioritise the number of contacts over the quality of the conversations. Research shows that the method of lead distribution within a sales team can have substantial effects on the conversion rate. Almost all of these methods require collaboration. Placing the clients & companies needs above personal quota.


“To cooperate is not a super effort, it is how you allocate your effort. It is to take a risk, because you sacrifice the ultimate protection granted by objectively measurable individual performance,” says Morieux.

Externally

Global businesses are not built through individual achievement. Collaboration provides a platform off of which companies can grow beyond their current reach. Especially when the goal is to expand into new markets.

Finance Digest has deemed this to be the age of partnerships over solo enterprises. Collaboration with outside firms allows companies to save time and resources while still delivering on their customer’s demands.

Leading commercial banks are already establishing themselves as leaders in this charge. Faced with a growing demand for mobile and digital banking capabilities, firms had two options. Undergo massive internal restructuring or partner with collaborative FinTech firms.

Wisely, many commercial banks are choosing the former option. Adopting updated digital capabilities from partners with very little internal structural change. Not to mention saving the institutions both time and resources.

This is a model that can easily be expanded into many industries. It won’t be long before companies in all industries are looking to partnerships as a route forward.

“Business has become much more complex. It is much more demanding today to attract and retain customers, to build advantage on a global scale, to create value.” – Yves Morieux

Opportunity Network is one way for companies to find reputable partners and make their deal sourcing more efficient. “I might be able to meet ten people on Opportunity Network within a couple of hours of clicking around.” member Noah Rosenfarb shares.

It’s this kind of collaboration that will drive growth in today’s fast-paced business environment. Once companies start to prioritise group performance over individual achievement, we will start to overcome the productivity crisis.

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