The Tip of The Tip of The Iceberg

No, this is not a post on pent-up demand, though it’s growing every week as affluent individuals make radical cuts to their expenditures on vacations (their favorite locales are closed) fashion (no place to wear them and be seen) automobiles and more.

So, where does this suddenly available discretionary income go? Into their home(s) of course! Your challenge is to make sure you don’t get cut out of the loop and the way to do that is to communicate, communicate, communicate!

No, the real tip of the tip of the iceberg I want to talk about has to do with productivity and the fact that it is so easy to imagine, time and time again, that some new app, or some new system, or some new calendar will come along and send our productivity soaring.

Before rushing to the solution, however, you might want to spend a few moments understanding the problem. Because, if you can fix the problem, you may no longer need the solution. Productivity may take care of itself.

We should first be clear on some key definitions:

  • Efficiency is about doing the same with less
  • Productivity is about doing more with the same

While a new note app or to-do list manager might give you a momentary warm feeling, what’s more important is to appreciate the underlying information that you’re trying to organize. In other words, rather than just put an app on the tip of the iceberg, how about thinking more strategically about the iceberg itself?

One example of this was given in a recent Harvard Business Review article which studied the activities of nursing. It turns out that nurses are trained in specific tasks but studies indicate that they only spend 50% on those tasks, with the other time being eaten up by administrative tasks.

So, ask yourself, exactly what good would it be to give these nurses a productivity app like a task manager, when all that would do is organize a lot of already unproductive tasks? Are you simply automating inefficiency? I think so.

But if you could tackle their administrative tasks and look for ways to automate, streamline, and eliminate those tasks, then you would free up more of their time to do what they are meant to do…provide nursing care!

Why not consider your own apps and time management tools and ask yourself whether they are helping to eliminate inefficiencies in your business, or merely hiding them.

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