When managing my divisions I used to encourage my employees to think in terms of their “Contribution” not just about their actions and activities within the department or firm. Companies do not pay for actions. Companies pay for results. The results that matter most are those that improve the bottom line. To achieve an ever-improving bottom line, the company must keep reducing costs per unit of output either by cost-reduction programs holding output constant or by holding costs constant while boosting output, if there is sufficient demand to absorb the additional supply.

People are essential to the production equation, the OUTPUT of a company.

At the individual level, you’d be better off to think of your own output(s) rather than thinking about what you do, your actions and activities.Think about what and how much you PRODUCE. Think of yourself as a human “machine” producing an output.  Here are THREE questions with which to challenge yourself:

  1. What’s my OUPUT?” Think of yourself as a MACHINE and think of what you do as a human “machine”. What do you produce? What’s YOUR output?  Then, ask yourself, “What can I do to produce more output?” Once you have maximized your output relying solely on your own initiative(s), then ask the next question.
  2. What can my manager do to enable me to produce more output?”  Meet with your manager and make the request.  Once you have maximized your output by implementing the resources provided to you by your manager, then ask the next question.
  3. What systems and / or department, division, corporate procedures can I influence to change to enable me to produce more output?” Likely it will be your manager who must intervene at this point and represent your case up the ladder. If that does take place, and I hope your manager can appreciate the benefits sufficiently to champion your ideas up the chain of command, then be sure you maximize the implementation and, wherever you are able to, assist your manager during implementation.

It’s your output that matters most.