China’s difficult ask

By |2020-03-19T22:48:05+00:00January 5th, 2013|

China's productivity record over recent years has been excellent - yet most of the improvement has come from capital investment. As such it has been relatively low-hanging fruit. If growth is to be maintained, the job gets harder- needing real changes to systems, processes and procedures ... real changes to labour productivity. It will be

New Year Resolution

By |2020-03-19T22:48:05+00:00December 29th, 2012|

This, of course is the time for resolution- determination to do more and/or better, to improve. But this shouldn't happen at new year- or, at least, not only at new year. Such determination should be ingrained in you at all times - and across your organisation. So, by all means make a resolution - but resolve to keep resolving... to keep challenging and improving, asking questions and seeking answers. Above all, resolve not

What about the workers

By |2020-03-19T22:48:05+00:00December 22nd, 2012|

Information from India, provided by the ILO, shows that economic growth from 2008 to 2011 was over 7%. However real wages rose by about 1.6%. This suggests that the fruits of productivity growth are not being shared with the workers. This is unfortunately too typical. Over the last decade, the only part of the world

Stand Up for Productivity

By |2020-03-19T22:48:05+00:00December 15th, 2012|

Many workers sit - at desks, at PCs, at assembly stations at ... It has been known for many years that it s beneficial to give people the choice as to whether to sit or stand ... and to give them furniture that accommodates either. Yes, it is rare to see such provision. Presumably the

Building consensus

By |2020-03-19T22:48:05+00:00December 8th, 2012|

Regular readers will know i have just been in Mauritius helping to promote their national productivity campaign. I talked to lots of stakeholders - employers, trades unions, educators, government agencies and even senior figures in the =government. Quite often I met good will ... and a realisation that productivity is important to the future prosperity

A slap in the face

By |2020-03-19T22:48:05+00:00November 24th, 2012|

Maneesh Sethi wrote on his blog that he hired a "slapper" to smack him in the face whenever he logged onto Facebook while working and boasted that it increased his productivity. Of course, Sethi must have diagnosed the fact that accessing Facebook was causing him to lose productivity. His solution was drastic ... but imaginative.

A formula for innovation

By |2020-03-19T22:48:05+00:00November 17th, 2012|

Thomas Friedman suggests that “big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.” So, leaders of successful companies are those that recognise both sides of that formula - they know what is needed, and they identify when solutions become possible ... and they identify this before their competitors.

Snake Oil

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00November 3rd, 2012|

If you read lots of press releases ... as I do (yes, I know I should 'get a life'), you soon realise that just about everything is claimed to improve productivity. Most often such 'stories' relate to what is termed 'personal productivity' ... the kind of 'productivity' that is aided by powernapping, reminder software, crystals, copper bracelets, iPads, honey ... you get the picture.

What did you achieve?

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00October 27th, 2012|

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

Think things through

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00October 20th, 2012|

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

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