Introduction to Productivity

“Putting in a full day’s work” and “Getting the Job Done” are not necessarily the same thing.  Think about your own experience.  When you were starting out, did you ever feel overworked and underpaid? As a manager, did you ever experience being caught between managing a demanding team under crazy circumstances, and the unrealistic expectations of your boss?

Now, as a leader, you can feel your team’s tension, even empathize with their pain—but the job has to get done on time and on budget.  Money doesn’t grow on trees. Navigating the gaps between profits and the crushing demands of customers, competitors, employees, and investors…is challenging.

Targeting PRODUCTIVITY is the key to reducing all these sources of organizational friction.

“Adopting a productivity mindset can be challenging, but the payoff is enormous.” Michael Mankins

The OnTarget Productivity Model

Acumen Partners’ OnTarget Productivity Model is a simple framework that applies across every person, team, and discipline within your company.  It provides a common means to assess and take action across your organization. The OnTarget Productivity Model begins by categorizing all actions, events and activities performed in your company into four categories: Primary, Traction, Growth, and Payoff.

Optimizing productivity begins first in recognizing the level of control you have over target events.  Typically, achieving desired payoffs usually requires a progression of activities similar to a workflow called a Productivity Chain.  Unlike workflows, however, Productivity chains organize events based on your level of control.

Primary -> Traction -> Growth -> Payoff

  • Primary Activities: These are activities in which you have 100% control. They are typically viewed as menial; and yet, if ignored, they create complex problems elsewhere in your company.  Example: In Sales, these are activities like “cold calls”.
  • Traction Activities: These are activities in which you have 75% control. They are contingent on other events preceding them, but are largely in your control afterward. The presence of Traction Activities indicate that things are heading in the right direction.  For example: In Sales, these are activities like Product Demos.
  • Growth Activities: Growth activities are exciting! They indicate that you have done a lot of things right and success is just around the corner. In reality, you have very little control (like 25%) of how and when they occur.  Growth Activities are highly contingent on preceding activities and externalities.  For example: In Sales, these are events like “Proposals”.
  • Payoff Activities: Payoffs are what everyone wants; and yet, they are the activities that we have 0% control over. For example: In Sales, these are the Holy Grail of all activities—Transactions!

Aligning effort, expectations, and resources where they can generate the highest Payoff is the sole function of the OnTarget Productivity Model.  Making it work for your company can be achieved in as little as 90-days.

FAQs About Productivity

It can be very difficult or easy depending a how you choose to measure it and the data you are set to track.  Many formulas exist in professional literature for measuring productivity in everything from manufacturing to product development.  All equate to essentially the same thing: Output/Input over a period of time.

The OnTarget Productivity Model measures productivity as: Payoff / (Primary + Traction + Growth) over 90-days.  This one formula works for every function in your company.

No, it isn’t.  Most companies have the resources to succeed but they are focused on the wrong aspects of their business. The OnTarget Productivity Model is grounded in organizational best practices and applies to all functions in your business.  It provides a seamless way to capture, evaluate and reallocate resources to the activities that will yield the best outcomes for your company.

People perform best when they know how they are doing.  And, as business leaders, it is vital to understand which activities actually lead to or increase the likelihood of the Payoff events that we want.  Combining these two principles helps leadership appropriately redirect, reinforce and reward the Primary/Traction activities as well as the Payoff activities themselves.  Measuring and reinforcing the right activities helps you continually build high performing teams.

A lot has been written lately about the importance of focusing goals and changes over 90-day intervals.  The science behind the practice is becoming more widely known and understood.  Basically, it boils down to this; annual goals and plans are typically off within the first 90-days of deployment.  Businesses “revise” annual plans on a quarterly basis.  Why? Because 90-days turns out to be about the longest timeframe that our goals and metrics can be envisioned and executed in a reliable way.

Give us a call and we can talk more about this fascinating phenomenon.  Or download the FREE OnTarget Productivity Planner and give it a shot!  Let us know how it goes!

90-days…or less.  The OnTarget Productivity Model is designed to help quickly identify and capitalize on key elements of your competitive advantage.  Used with actionable data derived from a Baseline, measurable results are the byproduct of leveraging the strengths of your team and taking the right actions.  Acumen Partners is here to help you fully realize your company’s potential.

Every Acumen engagement begins with a no-obligation, thorough benchmarking exercise to ensure all parties within the company understand your circumstances in the same way.  Many times, this brief engagement is all that is needed.  Most companies possess the resources to succeed.  Several just need the perspective to get past their current hurdles.  However, there are those times when circumstances are more complex.

Either way, all engagements start with getting the cards on the table.

Click here to get started.

The OnTarget Productivity Model is a conceptual framework that helps you think through challenges and create effective, actionable plans.  It works on many levels: Company, Department, Team, and Personal.  Once you have mastered the concepts, you will find they can be widely utilized to drive effectiveness across your organization.

No.  The OnTarget Productivity Model and Micro-Baseline are both offered free of charge.  Acumen Partners would happily provide training and support for your initiative, but the basic tools necessary to create and execute increased productivity within your organization.

Get your baseline, get your planner, and get your company OnTarget—all with our compliments.

Get your free OnTarget Micro-Baseline and see how data can simplify your planning.

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Download our complimentary OnTarget Productivity Planner and make your data actionable.


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