Productivity has nothing to do with the latest app.

Productivity has nothing to do with the latest app. It is all about you and your behavioural style that will determine how productive you are. There is no shortage of productivity experts promoting the latest and greatest productivity apps. It is interesting how large the populations of followers these productivity experts attract. It demonstrates just how many people are interested in personal productivity.I am very interested to learn how many of these followers adopt a new app and workflow and stick with it for any length of time. In my experience, I have found a great number of people jump from app to app and different workflows in a never ending cycle of searching  for the ‘magic bullet’.The never-ending quest for productivity nirvana is a symptom of a deeper cause. This deeper cause is variable by person but there are some common characteristics:

  • Seeking perfection rather than good enough.
  • Not beginning work until the right tool has been selected.
  • Difficulty knowing how to start work and delaying the start with analysis paralysis.
  • Mistaking boredom with a lack of productivity.
  • Collecting a range of apps, tools and methodologies with bits of work created using different tools and apps.
  • Information is scattered everywhere and the person is spending time searching. 

There are three primary obstacles that get in the way of people being effective and achieving high levels of productivity. These are:

  • The organisation does not communicate its strategy well so people are not clear on what they should do to have the most impact. If the have an idea, they are not able to prioritise it amongst the fog of other tasks. 
  • The person is using workflows and tools that are not well suited to their behavioural style.  This is common in organisations that roll-out productivity software without investing in training and designing workflows. 
  • Information and knowledge sources are scattered all over the place causing people to spend hours hunting information they need to complete their tasks. In worse case scenarios people end up searching the internet for sources or re-creating information the firm already has……somewhere. 

Even with a great strategy, an organisation will not achieve its objectives if people are not effective on a personal level. The greatest strategy still relies on people executing the right tasks well and within a timeframe.

Who is Your Chief Collaboration Officer?

I came across an interesting blog on the Mindjet site by Troy Larson.  There are individuals in some very successful companies that hold the title of Chief Collaboration Officer.    In my experience, the contribution that collaboration makes to a competitive business includes:
  • A culture focused on activity and execution
  • Knowledge and learning is informal and effective
  • There is greater resilience against both internal and external forces acting on the business
  • Reduced risk of knowledge drain when people leave the organisation
Many of my clients see the use of an online learning platform like DOTS LMS to be an integral tool in supporting a collaborative environment.  I have recently been introduced to an online collaboration platform called Podio that is a feature rich, multi- faceted solution that includes knowledge capture, sharing, project and task management, recruitment, customer relationship management among many other features.  The client using Podio has a diverse workforce operating in corporate and home offices.   The employees are able to access the online Podio environment via a link in the DOTS LMSuser interface. The technology is only the easy part of collaboration actually.  The more difficult aspects of collaboration relate to organisational and individual change processes.  The best collaboration tools will not overcome a reluctance or unwillingness to engage in collaboration.  The people side of collaboration is where most efforts fail. There are many reasons for such failure.  In his blog, Troy Larson covered the idea of having a person or team accountable for collaboration as opposed to leaving collaboration to individual whim or interest.  In your organisation, is there a person accountable for collaboration?  If not, what role would be most likely best aligned to plan and execute a collaboration strategy?

New world of collaborative authoring

We have had the pleasure of showing some of our clients Claro and getting their feedback on this unique authoring system.  Claro is developed by dominKnow in Canada.  You can check out the features of Claro here Claro delivers an easy to learn collaborative authoring environment that permits the import of existing Powerpoint, template creation and mobile content development.  Have a look at the pricing options here and sign up for a demo.