One of the prevalent myths in the workplace is that if an employee is busy, then he or she must be productive. In reality, being busy and being productive may be the farthest thing apart from each other. In a productivity-driven economy, it is crucial for companies, especially for the top management, to have the correct mind-set to identify the difference and develop strategies to help employees be productive, not just busy.

The key to do so is creating a “Productivity DNA” within the company – which is to say, building a continuous improvement and productivity culture in the organization. Despite the manufacturing industry’s progress in terms of productivity, much is still yet to be done to guide manufacturers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), towards productivity growth. It is hence important for each SME to develop a sustainable and systematic approach to discovering, experimenting, and pursuing productivity.

With this objective in mind, SMF Singapore Institute of Innovation and Productivity (SiPi) has developed a MasterClass programme that is designed to empower company Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and senior management to instil the Productivity DNA into the corporate culture.

Funded by SPRING Singapore, this programme spans over a period of six months and in three different phases, namely: coaching and on-site diagnostics, study tour to Japan, and project implementation.

The first phase will see a training session conducted by a master trainer from SiPi where CEOs of companies will learn about the relevance of improvement methodologies and how to develop and sustain the ideal Productivity DNA for their company. This will be followed by an on-site diagnostic walkabout with SiPi’s consultants wherein a diagnostic report will be generated, analysing both the strengths and gaps of the company, while identifying specific areas for improvement.

The second phase is conducted in collaboration with the Japan Productivity Centre (JPC). It consists of a five-day experiential learning journey in Japan where CEOs will be introduced to some of the best practices and methodologies adopted by Japanese corporations. With this first-hand exploration, CEOs will take away with them a sense of urgency to develop their operations to a higher level, and on returning from the study trip, they can map out an informed plan for productivity improvement.

In the final phase, companies are expected to contextualise and execute their implementation plan as outlined in previous phases. The first part of Phase 3 involves a guided project implementation with direct coaching. The second part of the phase involves productivity tools coaching for company staff, so that they can be equipped with the knowledge and skills to work independently on small-scale productivity projects, thereby ensuring a sustainable productivity culture.

Throughout the course of the programme, CEOs will be able to tap into the professional expertise of SiPi’s project consultants, wherein they will provide the necessary support CEOs need to implement new productivity concepts in their organisation. Furthermore, participants of the MasterClass can form a community where they can exchange ideas and share experiences of their journey to improve productivity – a bond crucial in facilitating CEOs to anticipate opportunities and future challenges.