Many countries have productivity centres to advise their government of productivity and related issues.

But do they do any good?

Is productivity something that can be shaped and steered by government?

I would say ‘YES’ from my experience in the UK – but not always in ways that might be expected.

Twenty or thirty years ago, the UK’s productivity levels were disastrously low – UK goods were uncompetitive, of poor quality and over priced.

Now, however, UK industry is much better, the economy is growing – and UK goods have a much better reputation.

What happened?

Margaret Thatcher happened!

Like her or loathe her (and there are plenty in both camps), she transformed UK industry – by curbing the power of the unions and de-regulating the economy.

Most national productivity strategies seek to regulate  … when they should be de-regulating!