Is it OK to use the word ‘productivity’?

By |2023-08-27T09:19:28+00:00September 30th, 2023|

At the personal level, many people associate the word ‘productivity’ with working (too) hard, suffering a poor work-life balance and increasing stress. At the organisation level, many people associate the word ‘productivity’ with working harder, restructurings and layoffs. At national level, few people understand the word ‘productivity’ - talk about it confuses and frightens them.

Its not the medium – or even the message

By |2023-08-25T11:05:12+00:00September 23rd, 2023|

Most of us have done some form of study that involves a section on improving communications. We learn about the importance of making any message appropriate to the target audience - using the right language, using appropriate images, and so on. We also learn about choosing the medium for the message according to factors such

Keeping It (Very) Simple

By |2023-08-25T09:54:49+00:00September 9th, 2023|

Sometimes keeping things simple yields the best results. This is particularly true for start-ups and small businesses. Don’t get sucked into complex (and expensive) systems of control or ‘improvement’.Stick to the basics. Set realistic goals (consistent with your declared mission and vision). If the goals are long-term, set intermediate targets. Communicate those goals/targets  throughout the organisation (especially

Do We Have To Make A Choice?

By |2023-08-25T09:44:26+00:00September 2nd, 2023|

Climate-change activists often insist theirs is the right way.  They insist that everything we do (or more often not do) must help ‘save the planet', rather than make us richer or more secure. Yet, in all fields of human activity, the two can co-exist, even help each other…. If we look at green policies and practices

Does Time Matter?

By |2023-08-25T09:31:57+00:00August 26th, 2023|

Of course it does! However, concentrating on squeeing every last drop of productive output from each day and multi-tasking to get more done can lead to burnout, to stress and anxiety and to a drop in performance. If this sounds like your existence, then think about what it represents.  Time is managing you, rather than

A Lesson in Communication

By |2023-08-16T08:37:52+00:00August 19th, 2023|

Doug Conant was the CEO of Campbell Soups in 2001 when the company’s business was at  rock bottom due to several organisational issues including a toxic culture. Among the many leadership strategies, Doug adopted, one of them was to engage with each staff member and personally, connect with them. He did something that was unheard of


By |2023-08-09T08:32:59+00:00August 12th, 2023|

I have talked previously about the need to balance the pursuit of efficiency with a need for resilience - we need to be able to cope with supply chain, labour or other problems. We have also talked previously about the need to balance a concentration on throughput with the need to maintain, or improve, quality.  No

How Good Are They?

By |2023-08-02T07:05:26+00:00August 5th, 2023|

Over the last couple of decades (before the pandemic) lots of middle income countries and middle-performing companies were integrated into global supply chains. Advanced nations and advanced companies had no choice as they needed new sources of materials, parts and skills. These new supply chain partners soon learned what was expected of them and with

Industrial Relatons

By |2023-07-26T08:34:51+00:00July 29th, 2023|

One of the ironies of modern business life is that whenever anyone uses the term ‘industrial relations’ they are almost certainly referring to poor relationships.  Similarly, the ‘industrial relations industry’ is about handling (and dealing with the consequences of) poor industrial relations. So, how do we avoid the pitfalls associated with these poor relationships. Well,

Essential Inefficiencies

By |2023-07-19T08:39:39+00:00July 22nd, 2023|

Productivity equals efficiency.  Yes?   Well, yes - by and large. But sometimes we need something else … something more. The recent problems with supply chains (after both the COVID pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine) reminded us that resilience is also important - but may use additional resources, and therefore be ‘less efficient’. In fact,

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