Is useless expenditure justified?

By |May 31st, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

As a productivity professional, I am used to counting every penny/cent spent and justifying the expenditure by the benefits it brings - its (perhaps tiny) contribution to the aims of the organisation. Sometimes, however, firms

What’s Your Specialism?

By |May 24th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

Consultants usually specialise in .... productivity, quality, organisational development, innovation, or some other 'improvement' topic. This suggests that the business world is full of tools and techniques that must be selected carefully according to the

The Pace of Change

By |May 17th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

I was recently looking at some documents I had created a few years ago.  My first thought on reading them was that they were out-of-date, but on re-reading them, I realised the format and appearance

Is Piketty right?

By |May 10th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

I'm sure that even if you haven't read Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, you will have seen the controversy surrounding his suggestion that we need to substantially raise taxation of the wealthy

The Productivity Figures (again)

By |May 3rd, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

I spoke last week about the problems of interpreting productivity figures. Recent data from the UK's Office for National Statistics suggests that across the economy, productivity is still 4.3% below the pre-crisis peak and if it had

Explaining national productivity figures

By |April 26th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

Explaining productivity figures needs interpretation and judgement. For example, the UK has had low productivity growth for the last few years. Why? Bank of England economists suggest that one reason might be that fewer businesses

Learning from the Past

By |April 19th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

I’ve recently returned from Greece where I was privileged to visit the site of the oracle at Delphi – a major centre of  world communication in the 5th century BC.  The size and scale of

Don’t Blame the Workers

By |April 12th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

On my recent visit to India, I visited a number of organisations and facilities where the senior mangers were critical of the performance of the workforce - citing their reluctance to work harder as a

Be logical

By |April 5th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

In a recent trawl across productivity writings - papers, blogs and so  - which I find useful both just to keep in touch and occasionally inspire me to new thought -  I came across the

Build trust first!

By |March 29th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

I've been in India for a week talking about a number of issues, including skills development.  India is making a big investment in Sector Skills Councils to try to work with industry to identify and

Work with Nature

By |March 22nd, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

The UK has had severe flooding this spring – especially in the South West of the country. The reasons are not fully clear – but the weather conditions have been remarkable and relentless. Over the

Don’t Change the Paradigm

By |March 15th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

Paradigm changes are rare - and when they occur, they can be very disruptive and threatening to those with a significant (financial or emotional) investment in the status quo. They are also unexpected - almost


By |March 8th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

How many people in this world do you trust? My answer is 'All of them' until they suggest to me that they cannot be trusted.  If we start from a position of trust, we normally

What do they need?

By |March 1st, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

Our office is quite small - a few desks ... and computers of course.  One of our members of staff is a graphic designer (amongst other things, for of course we cannot afford single-specialism staff)

Crossing Boundaries (again)

By |February 22nd, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

Last week I talked about the need to cross organisational boundaries - to avoid creating 'silo management' where each department takes decisions on its own information to suit its own ends - resulting in sub-optimal

Crossing Boundaries

By |February 15th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

Many of us are defined by our academic qualification or professional status - as engineers, managers or whatever. But most of us have learned that we need to be able to talk to those in

Less sugar, please

By |February 8th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

Sugar gives you an 'energy rush' - very useful when you have a demanding task to perform.  That is why we like sugary snacks throughout the day when we're at work or taking physical exercise.

The quality revolution

By |February 1st, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

We went through the 'quality revolution in the 70s/80s - now everyone (well all the big guys) has ISO 9000 and some have been through TQM programmes. Why is it then that it is so

Space – the final frontier?

By |January 25th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

I want a new guitar. I admit I don't need one (I have 4)... but I want one. The problems is that my wife says we don't have the space.  She has initiated a new

You might need plan B

By |January 18th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

Marks & Spencer, the large UK retailer has an environmental strategy branded 'Plan A' .... "because there is no Plan B.  They are trying to get over the message that we HAVE to look after

Getting Personal

By |January 11th, 2014|Categories: Productivity|

If you Google the word 'productivity', you get lots of results. Many of them relate to 'personal productivity', some of them to organisational productivity and a few to national productivity. So, which is the most

Radical Change

By |January 4th, 2014|Categories: Innovation|

I've done quite a bit of work with the fishing and seafood sectors recently. Over the last couple of decades, the seafood sector has been transformed through a change from catching fish to 'growing' fish

New Year, New ….?

By |December 28th, 2013|Categories: Productivity|

Christmas has gone. We now turn to celebrating the coming of a new year.  This is traditionally the time to make resolutions to affirm values, to set out our new path. We can, of course,

Christmas Action

By |December 21st, 2013|Categories: Productivity|

Christmas is coming (sounds like the cue for a song!)  Whether or not you are Christian, I am sure you can appreciate the overall Christmas message of 'peace and goodwill'. It is, however, a little

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