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.