Strategic Productivity for the Leadership Team
The aim of this briefing paper is to capture thinking into how senior business leaders can work more closely across functions to improve productivity. It is part of a wider academic literature survey being carried out by The Productivity Institute.
Our key argument is that firms need to be actively talking about productivity, identifying the key indicators that create productivity in their business, and then aligning their productivity strategy across all boardroom functions. Senior business leaders need to work within and across boardroom functions to address productivity as a critical component of the firm’s growth strategy.
The significant changes to how firms operate, especially in response to globalisation and advances in technology, but also in relation to recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and rising energy and other business costs, means that it is more important than ever that firms not only explicitly discuss and plan for productivity, but do this collaboratively across functions.
To achieve this there needs to be a cohesive narrative within the firm so that productivity is fully understood, led by the boardroom, and then adopted within the organisation’s broader strategy. Critically, business functions then need to work together to address the aspects of productivity that apply to more than one function.
Businesses are the main drivers of productivity growth, yet it often remains unclear to leaders exactly how senior leadership teams and boards should be thinking about productivity, and how they can incorporate it into their everyday actions to add value. There is typically a gap in terms of communicating key productivity messages within a firm, making decisions and planning for the future, and then translating them into actions.