The Workplace Makeover: Revitalizing Your Team From Within

The Workplace Makeover: Revitalizing Your Team From Within

"My sun sets to rise again." – Robert Browning, 19th century English poet.  Who bears the responsibility for team productivity? (<-- Click to Tweet) Those with an employee's mindset—for whom work is just a way of getting a paycheck and paying the bills—might point the finger at their leadership. True, the managers and supervisors who direct our work do have a large stake in team productivity. But they don’t bear the responsibility alone. Admittedly, at some level, all of us do work so we can live in the manner to which we've become accustomed; but the happiest of us tend to be more fully engaged than our cynical co-workers. We're more likely to invest discretionary time into our jobs, because we apply an employer's mindset to our work, treating it as if we're stakeholders in the comp … [Read more...]

Awesome Efficiency: Five Ways to Maximize Team Productivity

Awesome Efficiency: Five Ways to Maximize Team Productivity by Laura Stack #productivity

"Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things." -- Peter Drucker, Austrian-American management guru. "The highest type of efficiency is that which can utilize existing material to the best advantage." -- Jawaharlal Nehru, former Indian Prime Minister. What comprises true efficiency, at least in a useful business sense? That's a question worth pursuing, because the answer isn't necessarily what you might expect. Business "efficiency" has evolved beyond its classic dictionary definition, which is essentially minimizing the resources required to do something. That's fine as far as it goes—but what if the thing done right isn't the right thing? If your mechanic changes the wrong tire on your car, it doesn't matter how efficiently he does the job; you've s … [Read more...]

How to Drive Workplace Productivity in a Virtual Office

How to Drive Workplace Productivity in a Virtual Office

In last month's newsletter, I discussed workplace delegation in light of the technological innovations that allow us to reach halfway across the world if desired to find ideal outsourcing providers. But in truth, you can apply this whiz-bang technology to employees in just about any category. Given access to reliable channels of instant communication, you no longer have to keep team members close at hand in order to maximize team and personal productivity. The virtual office, administered and maintained via cyberspace, has truly come into its own. Your virtual assistant can live in Michigan and your receptionist in Florida, while your prestigious professional address may place you in downtown Manhattan, even if you run everything from your home in the Hamptons. When managed properly, … [Read more...]

Super Competent: Achieve More in Today’s Workplace

In this competitive economy, just being able to do your job is no longer enough. Competence is simply expected in today’s workplaces. But you can’t be simply competent; you have to be super competent to get an edge. Part of being super competent is discovering the six keys to unlocking your full potential: Activity, Availability, Attention, Accessibility, Accountability, and Attitude. Once you do, you’ll find you have reached a clear and practical system for achieving maximum results in a minimum amount of time. By contrasting super competent hero thinking with simply competent zero thinking, you’ll see that transforming your performance is not about mantras but mindsets. When the rubber hits the road, the difference between merely having ability and being exceptional may be the differe … [Read more...]

Workplace Productivity Ruts

Determined to jump out of a workplace productivity rut? Don't forget to reconnect with your Muse. Now, the hardnosed businessperson in you might view such a statement with a bit of suspicion. What, you may ask, does "a Muse" have to do with revitalizing your productivity at work? Well...everything, really. Your Muse represents, collectively, all those things that drive your creativity. While you can be productive for a while without any real inspiration, the lack can eventually wear you down into a rut where you're content to maintain no better than minimum standards. Work becomes boring and pointless...and there goes your productivity. When you feel the walls closing in, stop and think about why you work in the first place. Ultimately, what do you intend to achieve? Go back and review … [Read more...]

Collaboration: Increasing Your Workplace Productivity Through Others

"The in-box culture is dead." -- Evan Rosen, author of The Culture of Collaboration: Maximizing Time, Talent and Tools to Create Value in the Global Economy "In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." -- Charles Darwin, British biologist "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese poet. The term "collaboration" has a number of interrelated meanings in the working world. In one sense, it refers to broad community efforts designed to make work-life easier and more productive for everyone. In another, it applies to delegation: the practice of handing off part of the workload to others who can do it more easily or cheaply. The idea can extend to other … [Read more...]

How to Escape a Workplace Productivity Rut

How to Escape a Workplace Productivity Rut

To the casual observer, you might seem like a great performer—you’re keeping up with all your work with perfect consistency and maintaining an empty inbox. But you personally know you’re stuck in a productivity rut—a place where you get your work done, but only at a minimal level, and certainly without flair or inspiration. Your personal return on investment (PROI) in your job is very low, and you feel “stuck.” We've all been there at one time or another, for any of a number of reasons. Basically, you end up going through the motions, doing what you have to in a just-in-time fashion and staying busy without necessarily adding to your organization's bottom line (whether fiduciary or otherwise). Think back to your school days and the kind of grade such a level of effort might earn you ther … [Read more...]

Increasing Productivity:How Reflective Thinking Impacts Workplace Productivity

"Reflective thinking requires the continual evaluation of beliefs, assumptions, and hypotheses against existing data and against other plausible interpretations of the data." -- John Dewey, American educator. "Reflective thinking turns experience into insight." -- John C. Maxwell, American author and leadership guru. "By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter." -- Confucius, ancient Chinese philosopher. As a savvy SuperCompetent, I suspect you take a few moments occasionally to examine your workflow process, carefully considering what works and what doesn't so you can maximize your productivity going forward. Psychologists call this process "reflective … [Read more...]

How To Manage Crises While Maintaining Workplace Productivity

How To Manage Crises While Maintaining Workplace Productivity

As much as we try to structure our work time, there's no scheduling the unexpected. Emergencies and other crises overwhelm us all occasionally; unfortunately, no one has ever invented a predictive model (or crystal ball for that matter) that can actually warn us about everything that might blindside us during the average business day. In a perfect world, we would expect the unexpected, since we all know from experience how quickly things can go south. But somehow, it rarely turns out that way. Ever the optimists, most of us look forward to the workday proceeding smoothly and according to plan, so we can keep to our schedules and maximize our productivity. And sure, optimism has its good points; but sometimes, we let a positive, can-do attitude blind us to the reality that things can and … [Read more...]

Workplace Productivity: SUPERCOMPETENT KEY # 1: ACTIVITY

SUPERCOMPETENT KEY #1: ACTIVITY

SUPERCOMPETENT KEY #1: ACTIVITY. Activity demonstrates value and reflects importance. In this competitive economy, just being able to do your job is no longer enough. Competence is simply expected in today's workplaces. But you can't be simplycompetent; you have to be SuperCompetent(TM) to get an edge. Laura Stack's new book, SuperCompetent: the Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best (Wiley 2010), gives high potentials proven methods to reach peak performance and achieve breakthrough results. You'll discover the six keys to unlocking your full potential: Activity, Availability, Attention, Accessibility, Accountability, and Attitude. The Productivity Pro®, Laura Stack, gives you a clear and practical system for achieving Maximum Results in Minimum Time®. By contrasting S … [Read more...]