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If you want to maintain or increase your business output without increasing input, here are a few ideas: Create a simple, big productivity objective that everyone can relate to-exactly what it is isn't as important as having one. Put everyone on a team-team members will handle slackers better than a manager. If you have to lay off, do it once-then make a pact with your workers that you'll never do it again.
These are just a few tips for boosting productivity contained in Less Is More: How Great Companies Use Productivity as a Competitive Tool in Business (Portfolio). Consultant Jason Jennings, author of the bestselling It's Not the Big That Eat the Small, It's the Fast That Eat the Slow (HarperBusiness), screened thousands of companies around the world to identify the 10 most productive. Then he studied those intensively, interviewing everyone from CEOs to customers, to figure how they did it.
Refreshingly, Jennings avoids oft-studied companies such as Southwest Airlines and Harley-Davidson in favor of finding lesser-known outfits such as Ryanair, World Savings and Yellow Freight. The result is a useful and readable guide that will help any entrepreneur get more done.
Such a Geek
You can lead a geek to water, but if the geek isn't thirsty, he or she is likely to flip the Bozo bit on you. So warns IT management consultant Paul Glen in Leading Geeks: How to Manage and Lead People Who Deliver Technology (Jossey-Bass). "Flipping the Bozo bit," Glen explains, is what geeks call it when they decide a particular manager or other person is useless--a Bozo.
Geeks' use of arcane terms and lack of respect for power are traits that make them tough to manage. Glen advises geek leaders to scrap hierarchical approaches that rely on power to direct, manage and control subordinates. Instead, focus on fostering geek activities, clearing up ambiguity, representing geek interests to others and nurturing motivation.
Austin, Texas, writer Mark Henricks has covered business and technology for leading publications since 1981.