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

Lessons from Sport

By |November 16th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

I watch quite a bit of sport on TV, including American football. Those of you who know the game will know that each side has virtually 3 teams playing in a match - the offence,

A new model needed

By |November 9th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

Recently I got caught up in a great commute ... I had to travel into the city centre at the same time as all the other unfortunates that do so at the sane time every

Does your organisation practise 5S?

By |November 2nd, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

Does your organisation practise 5S? The answer Is probably ‘No’.  It is a much misunderstood and little used approach., regarded by many as ‘mere housekeeping’. It is, of course, housekeeping but absolutely not ‘mere’ housekeeping. It

Stressed Out

By |October 26th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

Healthy workers are productive workers. it is hard to argue with that statement. However, we might argue about what makes a healthy worker. Unlike the darkest day’s of the industrial revolution, nowadays, there are not

Charity Begins ….

By |October 19th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

Many companies now encourage staff to get involved in charitable work. Some even organise it and provide resources, especially time. The motivation is usually to improve the company image amongst the local community. However there

Over-hasty thinking

By |October 12th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

I am not immune from careless or overhasty thinking. Recently I read a report on new developments for air conditioning making devices more energy efficient. My immediate thought was that we should just get rid

Not so simple

By |October 5th, 2019|Categories: Productivity|

There are great hopes for autonomous vehicles - though some worry about whether the technology is ‘up to the job’. There are some driving situations and conditions where autonomy is relatively easy and others (driving

Productivity Principles

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

I have been doing quite a bit of work with Lean approaches and techniques recently. I like Lean ... not because of the tools and techniques (which are excellent on the whole) ... but because

Diversity creates superteams

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

The benefits of workforce diversity are well documented. Usually, however, these relate to diversity in race, gender and sexuality. There are also benefits in an age-diverse workforce where the different attitudes and skills that come

Changing Behaviours

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

It is difficult to change the behaviour of a child who is a fussy eater. If you try to punish, you reinforce the negative associations of the food they don’t like. If you try to

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