Too often, managers assess worker performance - especially in knowledge jobs - on how long they work ... not on what they achieve. Of course workers react to such measurement schemes and will extend their hours ... taking longer than necessary to complete work if that is what it takes to fill the hours expected of them. So make sure you measure what
I went to a presentation recently on Israel's approach to innovation ... and to Research & Development in particular. What struck me was the 'joining of the dots' ... the fact that Israel seems to have broken down the silo mentality of government to coordinate activity across a range of departments. They have done this
Most countries go through a development cycle from Agriculture to Manufacturing and then on to Services. However many services are labour intensive ... and therefore dramatic productivity gains are difficult Productivity in manufacturing industry can be transformed using technology and automation. Does,this mean that those countries that have moved through manufacturing to services (UK?) are at a disadvantage in the productivity race?
The Guardian (UK newspaper) this week raised the question of how the UK has managed to create jobs whilst GDP is falling. It suggests that the answer must be that the productivity of the workforce is falling ... so we need more of them. However, employment figures often lead or lag on economic performance. An
Behind many productivity problems is a learning problem. It is astonishing how often employees are poorly trained ... and in many cases, completely untrained, to do the job they are supposed to do. We then blame 'poor performance' ... and of course it is poor performance ... on behalf of the management team who should have provided
In 2007, the state of Iowa in the USA hired Mike Rohlf, a black belt in Six Sigma, to apply 'Lean' to the various processes and procedures of state government. Mike is still there ... appropriately as a 'one man band' (very lean). For each project, Mike works with volunteers from different areas within the
A recent report from IDC Manufacturing Insights suggests that the IT spend in Indian manufacturing organisations will double by 2016. Will this give them a rise in productivity? Almost certainly. Not necessarily as a direct result .... but anyone making big investments in IT is likely to be looking at other aspects of the business.
I'm writing this in Pakistan ... whilst taking a look at some aspects of Pakistan's horticultural sector. If you take a look at 'the figures' they suggest that this sector is quite 'inefficient', yet when I walk round farms, farmers and their labourers are working very hard. Of course - I hear you shout -
Did you see what I did there. Possibly too clever for my own good but I carried on the title of this post from the title of my last one. How often have you felt like a jerk ... in your professional life I mean. If you reply 'never', then firstly I probably wouldn't believe
Anyone who has practiced 5S will know the value of tidiness and cleanliness. Yet, all too often we see dirty, untidy workplaces ... creating inefficiency. Wherever you see untidiness, think "This is costing me money" and you might start to think differently.