Cultural Brilliance: The DNA of Organizational Excellence

With Host Claudette Rowley – Transformation Talk Radio – Every 2nd & 4th Friday 10 AM (PT)/1 PM (ET)

With Special Guest Michael Mankins – co-author of “Time, Talent and Energy: Overcoming Organizational Drag and Unleashing Your Team’s Productive Power

I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Mankins on my show Cultural Brilliance Radio. Michael is a partner in the San Francisco office of Bain & Company, and a leader in the firm’s organization practice. With more than 25 years of consulting experience, Michael Mankins has advised business leaders in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, chemicals, diversified manufacturing, media, technology and financial services. In 2006, Consulting Magazine named Michael one of the year’s top 25 most influential consultants.

Below is an article written by the Conscious Business Radio team about the show.

Cultural Brilliance helps you learn how to experience groundbreaking ways to really transform your company’s culture. Host Claudette Rowley invites some of the foremost experts on organizational culture to help understand how to make a brilliant culture the rule rather than the exception.

Claudette had the opportunity to speak with Michael Mankins, the co-author of “Time, Talent and Energy: Overcoming Organizational Drag and Unleashing Your Team’s Productive Power.”

Speaking with Michael regarding the inspiration for his most recent book, he says first and foremost the book is really about workforce/organizational productivity – why it matters, and what companies can do to generate higher levels of it. With that, he states that there were two things that prompted him to write this book. The first was research that was conducted by a group called Bain Macrotrends, which is an organization that applies macro-economic research to the micro-economic and organizational issues that their clients face.

The group discovered that financial capital, as a result of the global financial crisis and demographic factors, has become super abundant and relatively cheap. The other was merely just a reaction to one of his clients. This client, a CEO of a very large global manufacturing company, stated “The measures of white collar productivity and the tools for managing white collar productivity just really haven’t kept pace with manufacturing productivity.” This leads to the important issue of how to get the most out of resources and remove obstacles so employees can as productive as they want to be when they come to work.

A main topic from the book, and in subsequent digital pieces around the book, that Michael discusses with Claudette is the difference in mindset between productivity and efficiency. As he explains, most people use those words interchangeably and it makes sense, but efficiency is really about doing the same with less, generating the same level of output with fewer inputs. Productivity is different. Productivity is about generating more output from the same level of input, so about doing more with the same and suddenly that mindset is quite different. One is very good at sparking higher levels of profitability, the other is necessary to fuel higher levels of innovation and growth. And in today’s environment, the value to most companies comes from accelerating growth versus continuing to improve the efficiency of existing operations.

Also mentioned is the idea/concept of organizational drag. Michael best describes this as the obstacles that get in the way of people doing their best work and being as productive as possible. He says the root cause of organizational drag typically stems from one of two factors – the complexity of the organization and/or the culture of collaboration for collaboration’s sake. Providing us with a stunning statistic – Michael explains that approximately two to three percent of organizational productivity is lost by “reply all” in email.

Claudette adds the notion of companies and employees being self-aware and organizationally aware of how they are using their time. For example, how much time is spent in meetings, sending/replying to emails, etc. What is the organizational load that is being created in raising awareness, so people can make better decisions?

Today’s interview with Michael Mankins has provided a very refreshing look at how organizations can understand time, talent and energy – and really make some incredibly positive changes.

To listen to the full show, click here

For more information on the topics covered today, and for information on Michael Mankins new book, including a quick diagnostic for folks to do on their own organization to see how they compare to the best in terms of productive power, and what elements of time, talent and energy they might manage differently in order to close the gap, click here

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