Improving productivity starts with creating products and services that people desire.

When a company can respond to a market demand then they have a reason for being in existence. If there is no demand for a company’s product or services, then a company’s productivity will decrease.

Business analysts and managers are quick to prescribe solutions to get employees of companies more engaged and to work to produce more (with less resources, usually). Fortunately, many business leaders have figured out that they need to develop a deeper understanding of what their customers truly want–which had the added benefit of effectively jump-starting the innovation industry. The result is that companies and organizations are now working closely with customers to create value in what feels like real time. As customer needs and wants shift, then the company shifts with them.

However, what if the problem with productivity is deeper than this? What if people are simply tired of consuming? What if people come to realize have that they just don’t need one more thing in the house, one more account to manage that is a drain on their financial resources, or that they would rather just make it themselves? Then you are talking about a fundamental shift in our economy.

If people are opting to do without or, more importantly, do it on their own, then the people that were formerly consuming are now producing.

If large companies and industries dissolve into smaller entities that serve local economies then this would further reinforce the idea that our economy in general is decelerating and decentralizing as it shifts to a new way of doing business. On a macro level, business is slowing down, but at the micro or local level, productivity is increasing because people are taking action by starting their own businesses and solving their own problems.

Traditional business metrics can’t communicate the scope of this kind of change.

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