Posts

Chris Majer

6 Silent Productivity and Profitability Pitfalls, part 7 of 7

Silent Killer #6: Modern Indentured Servitude

Today’s world is one of sharp contrasts. As a society, we have more choices, opportunities, wealth, and prosperity than at any other point in human history. Yet, we are also more depressed, dissatisfied, and despondent than ever before.

In fact, more than 21 million Americans are depressed, according to Mental Health America, costing U.S. companies more than $31 billion each year in lost productive time.

A key contributor to this malaise is our contemporary view of work – that it is an endless series of ‘things to do,’ things which have commercial value for the enterprise but produce little or no sense of value for ‘me.’


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About the Author

Chris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential ProjectChris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential Project, is the author of The Power to Transform: Passion, Power, and Purpose in Daily Life (Rodale), which teaches the strategies corporate, military, and sports leaders have used to positively transform themselves and their organizations in a way readers can adept to their own lives and professions. He may be reached at www.humanpotentialproject.com.

Chris Majer

6 Silent Productivity and Profitability Pitfalls, part 6 of 7

Silent Killer #5: Suppressing Innovation

Thanks to the bureaucracy and lack of listening that exists in most companies today, we have created working environments that stifle the creativity, original thought, and innovation that make our human capital so valuable. As such, it has become all but impossible for many organizations to adapt to our changing business world. Simply put, an organization that cannot innovate is dead; the only things missing are the inevitable funeral and suffering along the way.

Many organizations confuse the occasional ‘lightning strike’ of a new idea or product innovation with having a culture that fosters innovation. But for this to truly be the case, innovation should not be something that happens every once in a while; it should be viewed as a critical competence – a skill to be developed, fostered, rewarded, and embedded into the workforce.


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About the Author

Chris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential ProjectChris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential Project, is the author of The Power to Transform: Passion, Power, and Purpose in Daily Life (Rodale), which teaches the strategies corporate, military, and sports leaders have used to positively transform themselves and their organizations in a way readers can adept to their own lives and professions. He may be reached at www.humanpotentialproject.com.

Chris Majer

6 Silent Productivity and Profitability Pitfalls, part 5 of 7

Silent Killer #4: Worship of Information

In our rush to ‘modernize’ everything and make our enterprises more efficient, we have mistakenly come to believe that information is our most valuable commodity. But data and information are useless without human beings to interpret them. These days, computers can do just about anything – except think for themselves. But we have come to tolerate the illusion that the essential matters of work can be invented, managed, and sustained through the creation, storage, retrieval, display, and publication of information.

Contemporary information systems are blind to many of the key drivers of productivity and have consistently failed in their quest to integrate the diverse operations of a company. By making information the priority, we have lost sight of its fundamental purpose – to enable the people to effectively address the concerns of their customers.


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About the Author

Chris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential ProjectChris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential Project, is the author of The Power to Transform: Passion, Power, and Purpose in Daily Life (Rodale), which teaches the strategies corporate, military, and sports leaders have used to positively transform themselves and their organizations in a way readers can adept to their own lives and professions. He may be reached at www.humanpotentialproject.com.

Chris Majer

6 Silent Productivity and Profitability Pitfalls, part 4 of 7

Silent Killer #3: Bureaucratic Styles

To most people, bureaucracy is a bad word, synonymous with ‘red tape’ and wasted time. Yet, despite the negative connotations, most companies still operate bureaucratically – insisting employees work inside of increasingly complex structures with processes and procedures designed to standardize or control everything. While this might have been the most efficient way to train assembly line workers during the Industrial Era, human capital is now the greatest resource for most companies. In other words, we’re paying people to think, to innovate, and to collaborate with others to produce the best possible results. You can’t achieve this level of performance if you attempt to dictate their every move with rigid policies and procedures.

The fall of many of our great companies – including GM, Chrysler, AT&T, DEC, and a host of others – is a testimony to bureaucratic blindness. Unfortunately, contemporary management theory offers no alternatives to this style of organizing work and designing organizational structures. Current hierarchically oriented systems – no matter how lean and ‘matrixed’ – are relics of the bygone era of WWII industrialization and manufacturing.


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About the Author

Chris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential ProjectChris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential Project, is the author of The Power to Transform: Passion, Power, and Purpose in Daily Life (Rodale), which teaches the strategies corporate, military, and sports leaders have used to positively transform themselves and their organizations in a way readers can adept to their own lives and professions. He may be reached at www.humanpotentialproject.com.

Chris Majer

6 Silent Productivity and Profitability Pitfalls, part 3 of 7

Silent Killer #2: Not Listening

To truly listen does not mean merely hearing or paying attention. Listening is a specific type of active interpretation that shapes our realities.

This largely unknown and certainly unrecognized skill is critical in the new business world. By blindly creating and/or tolerating working conditions in which people do not and often cannot effectively listen to one another, we kill productivity and profitability. This lack of listening can be the result of degenerative moods (e.g., institutionalized mistrust, resignation, or resentment), technology addiction (which can make it difficult for some people to actually talk to others), or a simple incompetence for speaking and listening. Regardless of the reason, if people are not listening to each other, accomplishing anything significant becomes extremely expensive, and making effective changes becomes all but impossible.

According to the International Listening Association, more than 35 studies indicate that listening is a top skill needed for success in business. Yet, less than 2 percent of all professionals have had formal education or learning to understand and improve listening skills and techniques.


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About the Author

Chris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential ProjectChris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential Project, is the author of The Power to Transform: Passion, Power, and Purpose in Daily Life (Rodale), which teaches the strategies corporate, military, and sports leaders have used to positively transform themselves and their organizations in a way readers can adept to their own lives and professions. He may be reached at www.humanpotentialproject.com.