There is a lot of discussion about productivity, but I’ve always preferred the term velocity. I’ve found that my velocity to goal determines my career velocity. By that I mean the speed and efficiency with which I achieve my OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) determines the speed and degree of career growth I experience. If I use half the time and half the people, capital and other resources to achieve the goal or objective as planned or as a peer, there will be career reward and recognition. As importantly, the organization can then apply the unused time, capital, people and other resources to achieving more than it planned or its peers -- a double dividend of high velocity OKR achievement. And of course, the reverse is also true … taking twice the time and resources is bad for you and the company!
I love the sensation of forward movement, low-friction and trajectory that velocity evokes. The term productivity doesn’t quite get there – primarily because it’s easy to confuse the satisfaction of crossing things off your to do list with having a material impact on the organization or your career.
Motion or Achievement?
To have a meaningful impact on the organization and gain career growth and professional rewards, what you work on and how you work need to align to achievement of the goals of the organization.
These 5 strategies have helped me and can increase your career velocity:
For a chuckle and to underscore the point, here is the opposite of these 5 strategies: functioning at a snail’s pace doing irrelevant, mediocre work that you’re not proud of and which is completely disconnected from leadership’s goals while learning nothing, gossiping plenty and staying disengaged on the side lines.
Chances are you’ve worked with someone just like this, but never wanted to be that person!
What do you think? What are your velocity strategies and tactics?