Input Over Output

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

Input and Output. Which do we put our efforts towards? In a world where our results, final numbers, or Output defines our measure of success, I guess it makes perfect sense to focus on the Output of the process.

As a result of this, my focus was highly on the output of the process. When my target was the output, I found myself placing a hindered effort only on the results. Even my solutions became output focused. Imagine the limit this puts on your strategic solutions. How often have you been given the instructions, “If it doesn’t get done, just start writing people up”? This is a common error of only focusing on the output. As a result, your solutions are only output focused. Now you’re the one at the end of the line with the “stick” hoping that the process will improve as a result of your efforts. Now don’t get me wrong - using disciplinary actions is in some cases a needed method. Consider the true solution a two-pronged approach. Focus on the Output AND the Input.

When I started to focus on the input, I began to ask different questions. I asked about the process, tools, training, personnel, and the like. You find yourself asking, “Are we training the personnel correctly? Do they have the right tools to complete the task?” This Input focus puts our efforts in the proactive stage instead of the reactive. This is a much more powerful position and produces more wins in the long run. As we put effort into our input questions and solutions, the process begins to produce the true desired output.

Now that we are targeting the input over output, our process can begin growing towards success. If we keep solely the output focus, then we are only being reactive to the true issues. By focusing on the input and being proactive, our efforts will have a higher yield. This is where it is a two-pronged approach. Remember that neglecting the input will keep you trapped in the reactive stage.

So, what have you been focusing on? Do you currently focus on the output, input, or both? What’s working for you and what is still a challenge? Share below in the comments section to benefit you as well as the Sigmasmith community.

Thanks for reading.

Rick V.


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