As people have personalities, organizations have cultures. Some people are open to change and some are not. Some organizations embrace change as a catalyst for future growth and profitability and some do not.\nMake no mistake, productivity requires change. If your organization views the ability to change as an important business attribute, then ongoing productivity improvement can be the status quo. If your company is set in its ways, refuses to streamline its processes and shuns innovation, then productivity improvement is not required.\nGiven today\u2019s business environment, a company that does not progress will soon stagger under its own weight and fade away. That said, if you are working at this type of firm, the best way for you to be productive is by updating your resume.\nThere are six organizational attributes needed to give organizations the ability to accept the small and sometimes large changes that productivity enhancements require.\n1. Cultural awareness: One of the most important business attributes of people leading the productivity charge is cultural awareness. This is the ability to understand your organization\u2019s internal politics, idiosyncrasies, strengths, weaknesses, and how it gets things done. To make matters more complicated, organizations have multiple cultures, called subcultures. For example, the help desk may have a different internal culture than Software Development.\nBefore moving forward with a productivity initiative, you must first ask yourself the question \u201cDoes this organizational change require cultural change first?\u201d The answer may be yes or may be no, it will depend if the changes being made are aligned and consistent with the current organizational culture.\n2. Innovative mindset: Innovative opportunities to enhance productivity come in many forms. It could be the successful creation, implementation, reuse and\/or improvement of an existing IT or business process that reduces costs, enhances productivity, increases company competitiveness, or provides other business value.\nFinding these innovative solutions requires a willingness to look at your existing operational processes with a critical eye, even if you were the one who originally designed them. Albert Einstein had a quote saying that \u201cNo problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.\u201d That is to say, you need to think about your processes from different perspectives if you wish to improve them.\n3. Management focus: Like all organizational initiatives, productivity related projects must have management support. If not, they most likely will not get funded. If they do get funded, they will eventually wither on the vine. If you\u2019re the project\u2019s executive champion, great. If not, you must find one that can provide you with the resources and political clout needed to move your productivity innovation from idea to ongoing business practice.\n4. Employee communication: Virtually all productivity enhancements are a form of change, this change must be communicated to those affected by it in the following way:\n\nBe clear in your own mind about what you want to say.\nBe consistent over time in your messaging.\nBe aware that varying audiences have different needs and worries.\nExplain rationale in a way that listeners can best relate to the issue.\nPeople are persuaded more by human dimension than statistical facts.\nShowing your genuine passion and enthusiasm has potential to create similar feelings in your listeners.\n\n5. Self and organizational learning: Organizational learning is born through a combination of formalized education and business experience, both of which are driven (or suppressed) by the organization\u2019s internal culture. Educationally, different employees need different types of training in order to grow. Technologists need to learn new technologies. Senior executives need to keep abreast of industry trends and corporate best practices. Lastly, all employees need to maximize their interpersonal skills, business skills and emotional intelligence. These skills collectively help IT employees of all levels to not only identify organizational efficiencies, but also provide the business savvy to make it a reality.\nProfessional curiosity in both individuals and organizations cause them to be introspective and more aware of their external environment. Introspection causes people to ask the question \u201cHow can I improve?\u201d External awareness causes people to ask the question \u201cWhat can I learn from my surroundings that can help me and\/or my company successfully move forward?\u201d Both these questions lead to innovative thought and help drive productivity.\n6. Conflict avoidance and resolution: Productivity drives change and change drives conflict. The ability to minimize this conflict helps facilitate change, which in turn, drives productivity. Your personal and organizational ability to deal effectively with conflict can make or break your ability to enhance organizational productivity.\nA good thing to remember if your project is being slowed or stopped by a specific individual is that 99% of the time people are not against you, they are for themselves. This means that if you can understand the reason behind someone\u2019s objections, you can very often turn a presumed adversary into an ally.