Productivity and Innovation?

While I am passionate about productivity I am also quite zealous about innovation and I wonder sometimes if they aren’t at different ends of a continuum.  Productivity can be about establishing efficient routine however it can also be about continuous improvement. From my perspective I try to be as productive as I can to allow myself the time and opportunity to be innovative. While everyone believes you need to be innovative in business to survive even in the best of times that can be a challenge especially as Aaron Shapiro suggests in his blog, most companies can’t innovate because everyone is paid to maintain the status quo. Here is that same thing I struggle with. People are encouraged to get more productive, in fact rewarded to, rather than get innovative. Aaron goes on to give some direction on how companies can overcome this.

So how do companies do it? I came across a list of the ‘Top 50 Most Innovative Companies’ and with that ‘5 Drivers of Innovation’ that they all seemed to have in common. Technology was on that list as well as demographics, attention, usability and the 3 F’s (fresh, fun, fab). Maybe innovation and productivity have more in common than we suspect. An article from the Oman Daily Observer suggests ‘Having Fun in the Office Can be Productive’ and you’ll notice ‘fun’ was one of the drivers of innovation. The article actually cites laughter as the reason for increased productivity and profits and decreased turnover. I found it interesting that children laugh an average of 400 times per day and adults over the age of 35 have it down to 15. Now that doesn’t sound like fun.

If you are looking for both innovation and productivity the one thing that you must stay away from is overtime! According to an article on Technocult in most cases overtime and lack of sleep do more harm than good. The research suggests working more than 40 hours a week has been shown to be counterproductive and overwork certainly doesn’t lead to innovative solutions either.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at


About Janet, doing it better.

I grew up and still reside in Northern Alberta. While I have numerous interests I am passionate about the Peace River region, its innovation, its people, and the creative spirit that envelopes us all.

Posted on April 25, 2012, in Business Productivity, focus, innovation, productivity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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