"Worker Productivity"


    Worker productivity weaker than first thought | Reuters.com

    I heard this phase listening to Marketplace on the way home, I've heard it many times in the economic reports, but it struck me today…. “worker productivity.”

    I know I read too much into things sometimes, but the language there fascinates me. Do workers have control over worker productivity? Do they really? Do we see reports like this and tell them, “bad workers, bad productivity?”

    In how many systems do workers really have control over their own productivity? If worker productivity is down, are we assuming workers are lazy and not trying hard? That they're taking naps on the job? I can only think of one company where I've seen that happening, and it was, ahem a non-Toyota automaker, formerly the top producer in the industry.

    What if it was called “management system productivity”??

    When productivity improved at NUMMI after Toyota started running it with GM, wasn't that the result of the management system? Isn't that true in any Lean implementation, that productivity improvement is the result of the management system?

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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