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Overhauling the Input-Outcome Cycle

Outcome-focused work is deliberate, direct, and controlled.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

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.