In 1913, if you were to build an automobile, you needed to spend close to 12 hours. This was a time-consuming process because there were so many steps involved. Henry Ford, who was an excellent business person and a visionary man, helped reduce that time to a remarkable 2.5 hours.
Now, his goal was pretty straightforward. His vision was to help every American own an automobile by reducing the cost of production. This process is deceptively more complex than it appears at first. Knowing how to pare down a complex process to the essentials and divide that labor effectively takes careful study.
Table of Contents
Ford was quite notorious as his father would find him doing stuff like removing all the parts in a watch and then putting it back together. He used to stay awake at night to do exciting tasks like this. His father did not understand his talent and hence did not support the young Ford’s ambitions.
When Ford was around 16 years old, he decided to run away from his home to join as an apprentice in a machine shop. When Ford turned 40, many of his acquaintances felt he was a daydreamer. Some of them even criticized him for wasting his time tinkering with machines that were odd and seemed impractical.
They suggested he find a day job instead to earn some money and get a livelihood.
We are all very fortunate that Ford’s friends believed in his vision. He started the operations of his dream company with an investment of 28,000 dollars. Now, it was the initial investment that he kept in the company. After which there was no turning back.
One of the first moves that he made was to develop an 84 step process to create the Model T, which was the company’s unique vehicle. They used to teach every worker in each department only one step in the process, and their job was to do the task well. Of course, doing this helped by increasing the efficiency of each task.
But he wanted the production team to skyrocket. Hence, Ford has introduced machinery that is power-driven which helped him to meet his goal. He was the first one to develop a moving assembly line in the industry. Now, this eventually helped his company to manufacture almost 29 million automobiles. As a result, this man was able to amass a wealth of $200 billion.
Efficiency is all about doing more with fewer resources, while productivity, on the other hand, is all about doing a lot more by using the same. Here is a list of production practices that will help you to succeed.
Team Productivity Versus Individual Efficiency
JotForm focused on a different strategy to boost creativity and increase production. Unlike Ford’s example, they did not have designers sit in one room and developers in another room concentrating and doing only their job. Upon completion of their job, they did not have them move their work to another department for the next step in the assembly line. If they followed this strategy, undoubtedly, the efficiency would have increased, but that’s it.
instead, they choose to place in a team a lead designer, UI or CSS developers, UX specialists, data scientists, full stack developers, and so forth. In this strategy, one person did not get the option to do one job, but they are a cross-functional team that needs to work on one project at a time. Since each group was acting like a mini-company, they were able to accomplish a lot in terms of creativity. An individual on the team would not come up with a solution to solve a problem. But instead, they would take the opinions of all the other team members before applying the solution. They would have missed learning all of these things if they did things in the traditional method.
It is a fact that production in an early stage of a company is good. People can achieve a lot in a short period with the right combination of people or team members. But as the company grows, things become more complex. Now, these things can hamper not just productivity but also the progress as well as revenue.
Though most of the employees have a desire to be productive, there is an organizational drag that slows down production when the company is growing. You can blame useless workplace activities, regulations, and requirements for causing this problem.
It is essential for you as a founder or manager to find these things and remove these obstacles. For example, when it comes to meetings, it is quite critical for you to remove those meetings that are useless or reduce the number of participants that are going to attend them.
Expand Your All-Star MVPs
Building all-star MVPs is the only way you can become more productive. Unfortunately, in most companies, there is a handful of them. You may find them in IT, marketing, sales or customer service departments. They come from different backgrounds, experiences and education credentials.
You should not limit their potential by placing them in a spot where their talents are underutilized. It is vital for you to know them personally and ask them these three questions to understand them well and then provide them with the needed guidance:
What is the impact that you want to make in this organization?
What are some things that you would like to change in the company if you were in charge?
Do you want to excel in something but never had the opportunity to work on it?
Identifying and placing the employees in the sweet spot they like is the only way you can make them more productive. Employees that are inspired are 125% more productive when you compare with those who are “merely satisfied.” That is a huge difference.
It is essential for you to switch your mindset to productivity from efficiency. Of course, this will not happen overnight. But as you focus on becoming attuned to productivity, you will make your employees happy, and they are going to perform better, and it will eventually help in increasing the profits of your company.