Article (August-2018)


Empowering performance productivity

Sanwar Mishra

Designation : -  

Organization : -  Jaipur


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Empowering performance productivity implies elevating the physical, mental and intellectual capability of the key personnel. Targets of performance are not fixed but dynamic; always moving upwards. Process of reaching goals needs updating caused due to changes in technology, innovations, approach of robotics and artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is a collection of emerging technologies that enable machines to sense, understand, learn and act. Many jobs will become redundant at the lower level where repeatable operations are performed. Humans will continue to carry out jobs requiring teaching, creativity, empathy, higher content of emotions and so on. Healthcare sector is already using AI in a significant way for diagnostic decisions. Civil courts for land registry can employ AI.
Demand for new skills is ever increasing. Present-day external environment around the business organizations is vibrant with the behavior of companies remaining active in cut-throat competition. It complicates the working of companies for survival. In this context, some strategic critical factors for taking action are : innovation, working smart not hard, boosting brainpower, improved thinking process and stress relieving, given in order as under.
Innovation can find a solution to the situation of intense competition. In fact, innovation is the outcome of an idea and has become the strategy for survival and sustained competitive advantage. Incoming new technology has overtaken the existing technology and it continues at a fast pace. Entrepreneurs innovate and create wealth or add to the existing assets; it enhances value of old assets and can generate opportunities of employment. In other words, growth is a result of innovation or growth feeds innovation.  
Research findings suggest creation of a bypass strategy to defeat a competitive network. It creates a market space where there is no competition by overtaking the conventional method of competition. Following a strategy of low cost for its buyers who had stayed away due to higher cost of the service/product in the past, a new and redesigned system is put in place. 
This strategy is innovation - based. It does not use competition as its benchmark; it uses a value innovation approach for that market space. It gives priority to adding value with innovation rather than creating value by introducing improvements. Value innovation occurs when companies align innovation with utility (Use value), price and cost status. For example, Air Asia conceived to offer low cost air travel to the customers. Conventional belief is that companies can either create a greater value at higher cost or create a reasonable value at a lower cost. Some of the IT companies in India have pursued this concept for value innovation in the race to perform better. Some of the alternatives of value creation and corresponding cost are listed.
  • Higher value higher cost : Since more value is created at the expense of more consumption of resources hence cost is increased.
  • Higher value lower cost : Higher value is created using better technology or by innovating the product/services, which resulted in less consumption of resources hence lower cost.
  • Lower value lower cost : Lower cost is created after careful study of customer requirements resulting in lower cost.
When things are easy we do not grow, because we do not want to leave our comfort zone; we grow when we face challenges by innovating our strategy of doing business. Under pressure of competition we leave the comfort zone and move out to hunt for an innovative solution. 
Working smart
Success does not mean to work hard but to work smart. The entry of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the business environment will increase workload on the higher levels of management hierarchy by reducing it at the lower level. We are working long hours under mounting pressure to produce more with less i.e. less money, less people and less time. Question arises how to produce more with less time; the solution lies in working smarter. Application of superior technology, creative thinking and critical thinking are becoming essential skills for the business leaders. They have to be faster in the decision making process; as it is not the big that eat the small; it is the fast that eat the slow.
Boosting brainpower
Working smarter requires boosting the brainpower. Simple and easy solutions are outlined as follows.
  • Eat well to prevent diet related illnesses and weight control. Eating an unhealthy food can drop the productive capacity by 65%- this is the finding of healthcare experts.
  • Take work break/rest break; because we are at our best during this rest interval as creative ideas come to the mind.
  • Sleep well; because sleep deprivation reduces the brain functions for organizing the work, logical reasoning and problem solving.
  • Physical exercise e.g. aerobics, Yoga and mental exercise e.g. playing chess, Sudoku etc. enhance brain function.
  • Avoid multi-tasking; it adversely affects the decision making function; it reduces productivity and increases stress. It has been found that multi-tasking can even damage the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EI (Emotional Intelligence).
  • One of the primary fuels our brain needs is glucose, which is converted into energy. Our brain actually manufactures its own insulin to convert glucose in our bloodstream into the food it needs to survive.
  • If the brain's production of insulin decreases, brain literally begins to starve, as it's deprived of the glucose - converted energy it needs to function normally. This is what happens to Alzheimer's patients - portions of their brain start to atrophy, or starve, leading to impaired functioning and eventual loss of memory, speech, movement and personality.
  • In effect, our brain can begin to atrophy (weaken) from starvation if it becomes insulin resistant and loses its ability to convert glucose into energy. Fortunately, the brain is able to run on more than one type of energy supply, and this is where coconut oil enters the picture. It can be taken with food by starting with one spoon rising to 3 spoons daily.
Vitamin D
Appropriate sun exposure is all it takes to keep the levels where they need to be for healthy brain function. If this is not an option, a safe tanning bed is the next best alternative, followed by a vitamin D3 supplement. This concludes that one should change his ways of working to keep pace with the changing business environment.
Oxygen is the most vital nutrient for our body. Brain requires more oxygen than any other organ. Oxygen consumption of brain cells increases during intense mental activities needing concentration. Short supply of oxygen causes negative thoughts, depression, reduction in vision and hearing, feeling of irritation and poor performance. Study reveals that inhaling pure oxygen and taking high dose of glucose upgrades mental performance.
Oxygen burns the toxins and re-charges the body. Most of the energy requirements come from the air we breathe and not from food. Oxygen purifies the blood. Improper breathing produces diminished mental activity; mental tension produces restricted breathing. When breaths become shorter and shorter, we become fatigued by decreased circulation of blood and less oxygen supply.
Concentration of mind makes breathing very slow. When our breathing is shallow and fast; we are not taking sufficient oxygen and eliminating CO2, as a result our body is oxygen - starved and toxic build-up occurs.
Improve the way we think
When we have the ability to think more effectively, we can make better decisions and become a much more efficient thinker. We will learn new things faster and easier, achieve that potential that has been hiding inside us, and improve all aspects of our life.
Think creatively
First of all, in order to be a creative thinker, you must stop thinking that you are not. Your thought processes must be allowed to flow freely, without a small inner voice telling you that you do not have a creative imagination.
It has been said by many that creative thinking is rather like a muscle. If it does not get a good workout every so often, it will wither up and be useless, much like a muscle that has atrophy or that degenerate. Many of the products that we use today came from creative ideas that were once thought to be rather fanciful. A creative idea is a concept that not everyone will come up with. Use your mind power to visualize different objects and scenes, down to the smallest detail.
Deep thinking
Albert Einstein - the esteemed physicist had a deep thinking "thought experiments" technique that absolutely worked well for him.
Thought experiments were easy to accomplish and to understand; they can work for us as well as they did for Einstein. To try out: you sit comfortably with a relaxed mind and start to visualize yourself in a certain scene. Most people choose a subject for their scene that ties in with whatever task they may be trying to accomplish on that particular day e.g. marketing, business development etc.
Once you have reached this point in the deep thinking technique, you will allow the creative power that naturally dwells deep within your unconscious mind to take over. You are creating what some would call a movie of the mind, and you will be watching what your unconscious mind produces. In fact, you will be so deep within your subconscious mind that it is likely you will fall into a deep sleep.
Stress affects the brain power
A person who suffers from chronic stress will produce more than the normal amount of stress hormones in their body. These excess hormones will affect the brain as well as the memory.
The worst hormone offender is cortisol, which can actually stop the brain from processing and storing a new memory. Cortisol can also keep the brain from retrieving memories that have already been stored. The neurotransmitters in the brain are what the brain cells use to convey information to each other. This is why you temporarily cannot remember much of anything when you are caught up in a stressful situation. You are confused simply because of a hormone overload. It is easy to see how chronic stress can affect your brainpower.
Recently, researchers discovered that whenever people are involved in stressful situations and are unable to manipulate the outcome, an enzyme becomes active in the brain. This enzyme - PKC, which stands for Protein Kinase C has the ability to diminish the short term memory. PKC also affects the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. This area is used for decision making, and is called the executive function area of the brain because it controls so many important behaviors.
When you are in a stressful situation and you find yourself starting to stress out, keep calm. Take measures to de-stress yourself, such as take a short walk, practice deep breathing, visualize calm and serene surroundings, listen to soothing music, step away and grab a light healthy snack. Be good to yourself.