By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs

In the past, organizations managed change through top-down strategies: new policies and procedures, structured planning processes, and redrawn organizational charts were typical responses.

But we’ve reached an inflection point, and organizational transformation is no longer fast enough or deep enough to cope with the pace of change.

What we need now is individual transformation.

This kind of transformation cannot be one-size-fits-all. We can’t prescribe a particular set of tools, define a particular body of knowledge, or dictate the productivity strategies that will be best for everyone, everywhere, now and in the future.

In short, there are no “right answers” anymore. There are only methods for finding right answers and adapting quickly to changing conditions.

We’ve seen this idea slowly trickle down from the largest organizations to the smallest. The military had John Boyd and his OODA loop, which revolutionized modern combat theory. Toyota developed Total Quality Management, revolutionizing the auto industry. Startups have Lean Methodologies, while teams of programmers have Agile and Scrum.

The next logical step is for this concept to diffuse to the level of individuals, giving them the perspective and agility to match the volatility they encounter in their day-to-day work.

Our approach, Design-Driven Productivity, applies the tools and techniques of Design Thinking to knowledge work. This new vision of work defines productivity not as a collection of random “tips and tricks,” but an ongoing process of each individual:

[Re]framing problems in the context of systems that can be measured and optimized using small experiments

[Re]framing problems requires a design thinking approach to creative problem solving. Creating systems requires an understanding of how to create effective workflows. And performing small experiments boils down to designing and testing new habits.

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Productive by Design™ is our holistic, four-part productivity training program designed to give knowledge workers the productivity skills they need to thrive and innovate in a rapidly changing business environment.

We draw on diverse fields including behavioral science research, active learning, and user experience design to deliver hands-on workshops in a communicative teaching style.

Get in touch at hello@fortelabs.co to talk about how we can work together.

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