I can be as guilty as the next person is hailing specific concepts and practices as being important determinants of higher productivity. 

But we should stop searching for the ‘secret’ – the panacea – and concentrate on the basics.

Productivity is about good organisation, good planning, effective design of facilities, systems and processes, effective motivation of staff and all those other things the management textbooks tell us about.

So, the real ‘secret’ is about doing all those things well in pursuit of a clear and shared organisational mission.

If someone comes offering you a simpler ‘secret’, they are selling you ‘snake oil’.  There are few shortcuts in life.