A Book Review - Human-centered Productivity

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<p>A BOOK REVIEW: HUMAN-CENTERED PRODUCTIVITY</p> <p>Choi Dong-Kyu, Chairman and CEO of Korea Productivity Center, penned a 207 page reference book entitled - Human-Centered Productivity. The non-fiction book, published in 2011, deals primarily with the several principle and relationship of productivity not just in an organization, but more so for all mankind as a way of life.</p> <p>Chairman Chois professional experiences, involving President of SME Research Institute, Commissioner of Presidential Committee on Balanced National Development, and Chairman, Asian Productivity Organization, among others, widely contributed to his exemplary writing skills. Because of his informative works, Chairman Choi has been a recipient of various awards, including the award - 1998 Paper of the Year (R&amp;D Management).</p> <p>Human-Centered Productivity is a two (2) part book which discusses on the evolution, connection and essence of productivity in an organization, more importantly - on its people. In the books prologue - the author clearly explained that The concept of productivity encompasses the vision and wisdom of the human beings, which is that the benefits enjoyed by the current generations should be sustainable for future generations to enjoy. To put it simply, productivity encompasses sustainability.</p> <p>Mai-Mai Manlapaz</p> <p>Page 1 of 5</p> <p>The book contains three (3) chapters in part 1. While Chapter 1 deals with the evolution of productivity, chapters 2 and 3 deal with the essence of Human-Centered Productivity. On this part, the author considered the interrelationship of productivity to the organization and people. It is where the productivity cycle was presented as a virtuous cycle where input elements are converted into output through the organization, and the organizational output becomes another input for creating new output.</p> <p>Furthermore, it is also in this part that the framework for Human-Centered Productivity was illustrated. As explained in the book, human-centered productivity consists of a system where human-centered elements interact and a productivity enhancement cycle that operates under the influence of this system. The outcome generated through the productivity enhancement cycle is returned to the system by means of a feedback process which, in turn, restores the human-centered elements. It was represented that the human-centered mind must consider being not only the means but also the end of the process of productivity enhancement.</p> <p>The author put on a greater weight that freedom and autonomy are the most precious values in the world of innovation. Freedom is described in the book as a value to be individually pursued. Individuals can have greater opportunities for a better life if they enjoy freedom, possibly even achieving self-fulfilment. Autonomy is pursued at the social or organizational level. It serves as the foundation for diversity and creativity, while increasing flexibility in an organization at the organizational level. In addition,</p> <p>Mai-Mai Manlapaz</p> <p>Page 2 of 5</p> <p>autonomy encourages voluntary participation of members, minimizing the discrepancy between individual and organizational goals.</p> <p>That is why the human-centered approach, one that emphasizes the central importance of people, is critical to innovation and creativity. Innovation refers to changes in the existing scientific knowledge. It is innovation that can and must be pursued by anyone who seeks advancement for a better life. Creativity, on the other hand, refers to something that is within innovative activities. It carries the psychological process of thinking outside the box.</p> <p>Five (5) chapters were contained in part 2 of this book. Chapter 1 deals with the Values of freedom and autonomy. Chapter 2 deals with a suitable environment for creativity and innovation, while chapters 3 and 4 deal more on the employment and labor-management relationships. Chapter 5 deals productivity enhancement through fair distribution.</p> <p>Utilizing humanistic elements results in a human-centered productivity enhancement, this appeals to the emotions and aspirations of members, and enables their competencies to flourish in a productivity-friendly culture. This process enables member to enjoy the freedom and autonomy to actively develop their potential and bring about greater productivity performance through creative and innovative activities.</p> <p>Mai-Mai Manlapaz</p> <p>Page 3 of 5</p> <p>One measure to encourage employees to break out of the framework of authoritarianism is to permit trial and error, and the inevitable mistakes which arise from it. Sadly, this measure however, is a business adventurism, especially in our country. Management prerogative / control still hold the mainstream approach of an organizations decision-making in Philippines ventures.</p> <p>The book explained that from a human-centered management perspective, humans are the most important asset and the source of competitiveness. Selecting the right talents becomes more important for a company where stability in employment is the basic corporate principle, because in order for employment guarantee policies to provide benefits to the company, there should exist the belief that the employees will work for the company for a length period.</p> <p>Recognizing that people are the core asset for corporate competitiveness strengthens the flexibility in an organization and converts its employees passion towards self-development into productive energy.</p> <p>Communication is not only essential between labor and management but also between peers and between departments. Thus, high level communication must flow starting from the top management down to the stakeholders, is essential. In essence, communication is the bedrock of trust in an organization. It is also the link that enables collective intelligence to exert the optimal productivity.</p> <p>Mai-Mai Manlapaz</p> <p>Page 4 of 5</p> <p>Fair distribution of corporate performance is essential in conditions where productivity enhancement is expanded in a virtuous circle and where another phase of input is created through feedback. Fair and adequate compensation for performance is the best means to motivate employees to work better. The top priority in compensating for performance is fairness and transparency. The basic rationale behind fairness is the principle that compensation is offered in direct relation to the extent of ones contribution to performance. Labor-management trust is critical in the fair distribution of performance.</p> <p>A vision is the ultimate corporate goal. It changes an uncertain future into a feasible commitment, while imbuing in employees a willingness to consistently improve upon the current situation. The prospect of future rewards, empowers one to endure present pain, and imposes an order upon wide range of tasks in a company. It also forges unity among employees and enhances employee immersion into the organization.</p> <p>In a nutshell, human-centered productivity encompasses a principle that humans become the ultimate goal for production improvement activities. Humans must strive for autonomy, thus becoming the key of creative innovation. Adopting a human-centered analysis and a human-centered approach is really a game-changing development, an absolute breakthrough in managing an organization.</p> <p>Mai-Mai Manlapaz</p> <p>Page 5 of 5</p>


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