Super Cities №111 - Overhauling the Input-Outcome Cycle

Brendan Hart

One Big Thing

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Hart’s Comment

Elite organizations, like elite people, focus on outcomes.

Most organizations are not elite, so they tend to be input-focused.

The real challenge is when organizations confuse the two.

Unfortunately, this happens all the time.

A few common examples where organizations focus too heavily on inputs:

  • hours worked > tasks completed
  • availability > productivity
  • social media “engagement” > influence
  • number of calls > quality of conversations
  • number of meetings > closed deals
  • general networking > durable personal relationships
  • flashy collateral > clear message
  • mentions in the press > increased sales

Input-focused work is busywork. It is chaotic — more, more, more — and lacks strategy. It is counterproductive and emotionally depleting.

Outcome-focused work is deliberate. It is direct. It is controlled.

And it is transformational.

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