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This week there was a thought-provoking Atlantic article by Linda Stone. She suggests that output is applicable for measuring the productivity of machines, but a more appropriate metric for human productivity is engagement. Here’s a brief excerpt, but the article is not long and is well worth a couple of minutes of your reading time.
Machines Can’t Flow: The Difference Between Mechanical and Human ProductivityMore output, produced faster may be great metrics for machines, but for homo sapiens, the most powerful metric is engagement.Linda StoneAt the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, it seemed machines could do anything. At that time, productivity experts predicted that machines and new technologies would mean we’d only have to work four hours a day. But, as we all know, that’s not what has happened. Instead, the definition of human productivity merged with the definition of machine productivity: more work, faster pace, more efficiently.What if we rethink productivity? Today, we define productivity for humans the same way we do for machines. What if we create metrics around engagement, for schools, for the workplace, and for our lives? Instead of evaluating output, we could evaluate process, outcomes, and quality.
Read the full article here.