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February 2011

Productivity has always fascinated us. Why is it that sometimes we do a lot of things and yet don’t seem to achieve anything and sometimes do a few things and accomplish a lot? We attended a talk by Dr John Demartini on Productivity in December. He is one person that is extremely productive so we were very keen to hear his thoughts and theory on what this thing called productivity is all about. Also how do you know when you are hiring someone that they are going to be productive?

Productivity is directly proportional to you being congruent with your purpose and meaning, your actions linked to your highest values. Inertia is directly proportional to lack of congruency with your highest goals.

Looking at Dr John Demartini’s diagram above, people who own their own identity, have purpose and meaning in their life, have actions that are linked to their highest values, need no motivation. They are highly productive and self initiated. People who don’t know who they are, have no purpose or meaning in their life, tend to have no identity of their own and hence need motivation in order to get things done.

So the key to being very productive is do what you are passionate about and outsource the rest. Demartini does 4 things – he researches, teaches, travels and writes. The rest he outsources. This allows him to travel to 56 countries in the world annually, deliver over 400 talking engagements in a year and produce books, DVDs every year.

If you have low goals, nothing that you are passionate about, then you tend towards immediate gratification to fill your needs. You also tend to become infatuated about others rather than being comfortable with yourself. It leads to needs being filled by addictions, dependencies or living beyond your means. Infatuation with material wealth is a dangerous trend in this country at the moment.

Everyone has the capacity to do extraordinary things. Think of what Mother Theresa accomplished with very little material wealth; many domestic workers in South Africa have been able to give their children the education that they never had and give them a lift in life.

Productivity in the Workplace

Good leaders are ones where their work is congruent with their passion and values. Think of the many successful entrepreneurs who doggedly keep at what they do, through thick and thin and have been rewarded for that hard work – Richard Branson, Raymond Ackerman, Richard Maponya etc. Their main passion has not been about making as much money as they can, over and above everything else. Innovation, service, trying new ideas are more their passions. What these entrepreneurs have achieved in such a short time span is inspirational to us all.

If the leadership of a company is not able to articulate their vision and purpose for the company, then no employees will be able to align their own values and purpose with the company and hence the company will be unproductive and usually go out of business.

A highly productive company is one where everyone’s values and purpose are aligned to those of the company. This creates loyal employees – employees are not loyal to a company, they are loyal to their own values! Think of Google and Apple. Both companies have leaders that have a strong purpose and values, employees who are passionate about working there and waiting lists of “wannabee” employees. This congruency, and hence high productivity, has lead to huge continuous innovation, market leadership and superb financial results.

Every person has different needs and values that need to be fulfilled. When you are hiring someone, do you question them as to how this job is going to fulfil their needs? If there is congruency, then that person will be productive; if they are unable to articulate how, then don’t hire them! This applies to every single role in a company. Greatest innovation comes when people love what they are doing.

Why is productivity so low in this country? Look out for our next newsletter when we will be linking Maslow’s hierarchy of needs with productivity.