BYOD & Drucker’s Six Factors of Productivity

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | comments

“The most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st century is similarly to increase the productivity of the knowledge work and the knowledge worker.” – Peter Drucker

BYOD-Bring Your Own Device phenomenon spurs a lot of excitement and frustration recently, the excitement is about the good intention behind the trend: Increase employees’ satisfaction and improve productivity. The frustration is also understandable, the security, the privacy, the management complexity. Etc. Is it worth the effort, here we re-visit Drucker’s  six factors of productivity.

The idea of 'knowledge worker' was first described by Peter Drucker in his 1959 book 'The Landmarks of Tomorrow'. He also points out that knowledge worker productivity is the most important challenge for management in the 21st Century, Though being through the half century, the vision and management discipline are proven evergreen, fortunately, modern technology enable knowledge worker to achieve high-level of productivity via uniting their hand, mind and heart more smoothly.

Can BYOD and other modern technology help fulfill Drucker’s vision about productivity?

1.     What is the Task?

·        Manage on WHAT not HOW

BYOD brings up the freedom of choices for employees to do the work via the tools they enjoy, also provide the possibilities for staff to work anytime, anywhere to access the right information when needed; multi-generational workforces may have different way to do the things. Now the management discipline need focus on WHAT need be done, let employees figure out HOW.

2.     Self Management

With the convergence of IT consumerization (such as BYOD) and enterprise of IT, and mobile computing with social platform, knowledge workers now have more flexibility than ever to communicate cross boundary, connect with like-minded professionals,  share knowledge and compliment skill sets via multi-channel conversation & socialization and framework more resilient organizational structure. Self-management is the new normal to increase business productivity via trust & monitor, empowerment & governance.

3. Continuous Innovation

·        Take Extra Mile

While the tasks are no longer micro-managed, the culture of innovation need be cultivated, and employees are always encouraged to think and do the task innovatively, think as entrepreneur or business owner, take advantage of modern tools, and with open mind to pursue the alternative solutions, to create further value for business, also for their own growth. “Take Extra Mile” attitude and mentality will further enhance productivity & continuous innovation. 

4.     Continuous Learning

Today’s knowledge workers face their own dilemma, knowledge and skills need be updated every couple of years even shorter, globility –anyone can compete anything from anywhere is the by-product of internet and globalization. Continuous learning attitude is essential for many professions now, the positive effect is also about the modern technologies, which enable any “thirsty soul” or “hungry mind” to satisfy without too much hassle to gain the latest knowledge.   

5.     Quality is Superior than Quantity

Knowledge workers need pursue the professional happiness via not only skills, but more via character, character means more about quality, skills means more about quantity. On the other hand, productivity comes more from quality than quantity at knowledge economy we participate here, only through continuous learning and innovation. Again, BYOD culture inspires the continuous progress both for individual and business.

6.     Treat People As Human Asset & Capital than Cost

  Drucker also pointed out: attracting and holding knowledge workers have become two of the central tasks of people management. The goal of talent management need reach three levels of maturity:

·        Level I --Human Cost: Still treat staff as cost, then,  for most of  employees, “job is just a job”, such a mentality is a big barrier to improve productivity, not mention about innovation.

·        Level II –Human Asset: business is all about the group of people to achieve bigger than each individual can do on their own. Treat human as asset, with mutual respect, for their expertise, for their contribution, for their cognitive wisdom.

·        Level III –Human Capital: Inspire talent team to envision business purpose and strategy together, think people as human capital investment, empower and delight them to achieve more via latest technology tools, that’s the main goal of BYOD.

People want autonomy (let me do it!), mastery (how to do it better with resources), and purpose (why & how: my work fits in to the larger project, and how our project fits our corporate purpose, and why the corporate objectives add meaning to the world). These are actually both universal drivers, and deeply unique and personal. And the productivity need be improved via uniting people’s hand, mind and heart!  BYOD, are you ready!
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