Some countries are much more productive than others.

One would assume that this gives the less productive countries lots of scope to learn what works and what doesn’t – and boost their own productivity … but this doesn’t seem to be the case.

This suggests that either those countries are not trying to learn the lessons … or that the lessons and good practice are not easily transferrable from one country to another.

I find either of those difficult to accept.

(This is one reason that I regularly help organise the World Productivity Congress – the next one is in Bahrain in November, see

Of course different climates, traditions, cultures and so on make a difference – but there are enough similarities between the ways in which the leading nations organise themselves to suggest there are generic lessons to be learned.

Perhaps politicians are the wrong people to learn them!