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The new frontier of productivity: Cooperation


Productivity is the principal driver of the prosperity of a society” – Yves Morieux.

As such, it becomes easier to figure out why the slower productivity growth registered across the past several years has had greater repercussions globally, despite the technological innovations blooming around us.

What if all the problems we are facing nowadays are rooted in a productivity crisis?

Cooperation is a matter of how you allocate your efforts to influence the performance of others, by taking the risk of yielding your ultimate protection granted by individual performance.

In the insightful talk named “How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done”, Morieux presents the main topics that appear when discussing productivity and how it can affect cooperation.

  • The most important characteristic of a company is to have clear roles and processes. Management reports are filled with complaints about the absence of clarity, while employees need to have some light shed on their job descriptions, to know exactly what their assignments are and what they can do to help others.
  • Morieux said “What gets measured gets done.” People spend their time in meetings, writing reports that they have to do, undo, and redo, based on analysis. At the end of the day, organizations and their personnel are wasting roughly 80% of their time on long, hard, unproductive and inefficient work, generating less value with their activities.
  • We pay more attention to knowing who to blame in case we fail, than in creating the conditions needed to succeed. What can we infer, from this, as being the real goal of a structure within an organization? To have somebody guilty in case something fails. This further adds to the money, time and efficiency sink we are getting ourselves into, adding up quickly to the negative growth of the company.

If the world’s overall status remained simple and straightforward, these points would be adequate; this is not the case, since today’s business environment is constantly getting more complex in its urge to attract and retain customers. In our pursuit of creating value we blame personalities instead of targeting clarity, measurement and accountability, thus adding injustice to the working environment.

“The miracle of cooperation is that it multiplies energy and intelligence in human efforts. With cooperation we can do more with less. “said Yves Morieux.

The most important question is: Are you making it individually useful for people to cooperate?

Yves Morieux is the Director of the BCG’s Institute for Organization. He is making a valiant attempt at shedding new light on the topic and helping increasingly complex organizations improve their performance in our multifaceted and fast-changing business environment.

Video source: Morieux Y. (2015), How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done, TED Talks

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