What Henry Ford Didn’t Teach Us About Productivity

Read This Before You Take on Another Mindless Project

Henry Ford revolutionized the Industrial Age with his invention of the movable assembly line – all of the sudden work came to the workers and cars were built fast.

– Henry Ford’s assembly line made automobiles affordable for the average person. –

Rather than each worker building a car, each person in line would complete one role like attaching a wheel or checking some bolts. Contrary to popular opinion, studies are now showing that individuals are less productive when tackling projects assembly line style.

Ford’s factory was one of the best places to work in Detroit. Wages were higher and hours were lower. This was all for a very good reason: the work was boring.

Many of us “self-starters” are obsessed with efficiency. Because of this we compartmentalize are tasks and do them in phases.

The dark secret of compartmentalization is that it leads to many unfinished tasks. When building his own first automobile, Henry Ford completed every phase himself. Had he started out welding 100 radiators in his barn, it is unlikely we would know his name today.

When we take on too many projects at once, we are likely to get burned out before we see even one finished product. Henry Ford would have run out of time, resources, and drive long before he could have pieced together 100 cars.

The challenge of snapping together a LEGO® set or creating a personalized model can be great fun, but the thrill would quickly disappear for anyone stuck in a LEGO® assembly line. Can you imagine putting the same piece on the same model all day long?

By focusing on one project or one model, we get the reward of seeing it through to completion. We get the benefit or learning what we did wrong and doing better the next time.

Finally, we build a passion into what we do. Ford loved automobiles so much that he could be found on the tracks racing his prize automobiles.

– Henry at the races. –

We all have learned the efficiency of the assembly line. However, few of us take away the life-changing process of seeing a project through from beginning to end.

Before you sign up for the assembly line, why not try making one thing well. I think you will find it well worth your time.

Question: Have you ever created a project in bulk that you had to throw out in the end? Share your story! You can leave a comment by clicking here.


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