A Suitable Platform

By |November 14th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

Two trends have come together to transform attitudes to technology. Firstly, hardware (closely followed by software) has become so advanced that many tasks previously thought incapable of being computerised or digitised have now come within

Post-Pandemic Policy

By |November 7th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

A crisis like the one the world is at the moment changes political, economic and business thinking. Long-strategy understandably gives way to survival thinking.... “How can we get through this?” So, longer (but not that

Calling All Governments

By |October 31st, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

Which governments succeeded and which have failed in meeting the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic?  Well - as ever - it depends on your definition of succcess. There are two main factors against which the

Keep Moving Backwards

By |October 24th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

Many, if not most, companies are looking to improve productivity these days.  They may design single, initiatives or projects to look at key issues or, if they are smart, have an ongoing ‘movement’ that systematically

Hard Work

By |October 17th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

Do you want your employees to work hard?  (Yes, we’re starting with the easy questions.) Well, actually you don’t. If those employees are doing the wrong things, or even doing the right things but in

Secure Food Supplies

By |September 3rd, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

I have written and spoken recently about the growing realisation that resilience must be a key factor in industry  development where security and consistency of supply becomes ever more important when selecting working systems and

The Future Needs Your Thought

By |March 21st, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

When we carry out future -gazing or horizon scanning, we can often see likely large-scale changes ahead. For example, self-driving vehicles are coming. We are not sure when but they are coming. What does this

Longer-term vision, please

By |March 14th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

We should be able to assume that most business leaders are aiming to improve the productivity and performance of their organisation.  Yet, not many of them seem to be successful in doing this. This suggests

The same, old routine

By |March 7th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

A lot of productivity writers and bloggers advocate a morning routine to set you up for the day. The problem with routines is that they tend to result in routine thinking. If you want fresh,

Sometimes quick is better

By |February 29th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

When improving performance, we often urge companies to take a longer term view. Forget short term gains and concentrate on the gains to be made year in, year out over many years, Yet, sometimes, companies

No more comfort breaks

By |February 15th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

I was musing the other day about 'off the wall' inventions that might do good for the wrong reasons - or were designed to solve a problem that no-one knew existed. My starting point was

Lay the Foundations

By |February 11th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

There has been much talk recently in the UK (before, during and even after, the election) about improving rail links to, and in, the north of England.  HS2 (the high speed link to London) might get

What is the right ratio?

By |February 8th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

I saw recently that Mark Zuckerberg had had millions wiped off his ‘fortune’ by a small dip in Facebook’s stock value. Leaving aside the morality of the vast fortunes of these tech billionaires, I wonder

Offensive Productivity

By |January 25th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

I was browsing the web recently when a headline “Offensive Productivity” caught my eye. It was an article relating to an American sports team and was bemoaning the performance of the attacking members if the

Don’t be a binary thinker

By |January 18th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

Politicians are binary creatures. They view important issuers as black and white,.  They are right and everyone else is wrong.  They rarely listen to conflicting views because they KNOW those holding contrary views cannot be

Design good processes

By |January 11th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

Do we want to design processes that are ‘good’? Well, we first have to define ‘good’. I would suggest that ‘good’ processes are consistent processes. If a process is consistent, we can observe it, measure

Small details

By |January 4th, 2020|Categories: Productivity|

Sometimes, very small parts of a process can have a massive impact on overall performance. Take Formula 1 racing. Quite often, the winner is determined by when tyre changes are carried out .., or the

Promise yourself

By |December 28th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

Many of us are about to celebrate the start of a new year. It is traditional to make resolutions or promises to oneself that should make us a better person in some way. Those of

Consistent Inconsistency

By |December 21st, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

Six Sigma is based on consistency - on reducing variation so that processes run smoothly and consistently, to their specification. Most processes have some variation - due to inconsistency of raw materials, variations in machine

Experts are not enough

By |December 14th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

What will a group of productivity experts do for you if you want to improve productivity. Well, the best you can expect is to gain wisdom about best current practice.  That’s the job of an expert

Don’t uninvent

By |December 7th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

Why do people keep pretending that useful things have not been invented For example, I keep seeing waiting staff in restaurants struggling to carry more than a couple of plates and IK want to shout

Less work, more productivity

By |November 30th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

When we are young and inexperienced, we tend to think that if we work harder we will be more productive. As we gain experience (and age), we start to realise that this is not true.  Too

Copycat Chinese??

By |November 23rd, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

I was back in China last week. The economic miracle of China is well know but many people still think it was, and is, built on cheap labour and ‘copycat’ products. These people have never

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