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Why Productivity Growth is Unpopular

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People often think that the productivity consulting business should be in high demand. But there’s a terrible secret: increased productivity requires change, and people hate change.

A striking example is an invention that you’ve probably never heard of. It was created in the 1940s and is cheaply available. By one calculation, it can save 30,000 hours of work over the course of a lifetime. Once you understand it, you’ll wonder why they haven’t been installed everywhere. It’s the dish-draining closet:

That’s right: hand wash a dish and stick it in the dish-draining closet. The wire racks and open bottom allow for water to drip out and land in the sink. No more leaving dishes out on the counter. No more laborious hand-drying with a dishcloth. Just put the dish away wet, and it will dry on it’s own behind closed doors.

Not surprisingly, millions of the dish-draining closets have been sold. Billions of hours have been put to better use than drying dishes by hand. So why haven’t you seen one before? Where are all of these labor-saving cabinets?

The answer: they are mostly in Finland.

business consultants share Finnish invention

© Flickr user lago Laz

The dish-draining closet was invented by Maiju Gebhard at the Finnish Association for Work Efficiency. It even won an award as one of the most important Finnish inventions of the millennium, according to the Finnish Invention Foundation. A few have made it to other European countries, but for the most part, there’s only place to find this incredible creation. If you want to see a dish-draining closet, your best bet is to hop a plane for the Republic of Finland.

The message here should be clear: productivity consulting is a tough sell because people are resistant to change. A simple, inexpensive invention can save the average home oodles of time in drying dishes, but most people have a hard time making a switch. Imagine what improvements are possible in your organization if you are actually open-minded to new possibilities?

Finally, resistance to change can actually be an advantage. If everyone else is afraid to try something new, your firm might be able to move ahead of the competition. Make a change. Consider reaching out to AccelaWork. Our productivity consultants would love to talk about ways to help your firm be more productive at work.

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