Saturday, 21 October 2017

What's your productivity plan?

Productivity doesn't just happen - it has to be designed in to the business, supporting the overall strategic vision and plan and underpinned by the establishment of key metrics.

So, you need a plan.  What are you going to change?  What are you going to investigate? What do toy NEED to change?  Where are your problems? Where are your opportunities for improvement?  Where might technology help? How might you develop your staff to help them improve your business? What do your competitors do better than you?

Answering these - and similar - questions should help you stat the planning process. 

You don't need a revolution - but you do need to think about where you might make a number of small improvements that  could make a difference - impacting on what you do or how you do it - and impacting on your 'bottom line'.

So, as from next week - or even today - question, think, plan  and act.




Saturday, 14 October 2017

The future, not the past

In 1940, one farmer supplied about 11 people with food for the year. Changes over time -especially in technology - mean that today the average farmer in the United States supplies 155 people with food for the year.

How many industries can match that kind of productivity growth? 

But history is not important.

A more important question is ...Where will the next phase of growth come from?  

Has technology still got potential for us?  Have new pesticides? Or doe we need new practices, new systems of crop growth. 

We certainly need new ideas if we are to feed the growing global population.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

No Thingy for me!

'Thingy' is a word used in the UK by many people to represent something whose name they cannot recall - a 'whatdyacallit', a 'thingymajig'.  All cultures and languages have such words.

I use it here because it reminds me of the 'next big thing' (or should that be next big thingy)?

This - according to some - is the Internet of Things - the networking of physical objects.

Manifestations so far seem to be 'home automation' - devices that will change the colour of your lighting or switch on your kettle as you enter the house, or when you use your phone to direct it to.

So far, I have been underwhelmed. It seems remarkable how few of these things I want to do at all, let alone automatically or 'more conveniently'. It might be 'early days' and in a few years I might be amazed at the possibilities but, for now, you can keep these thingies that are so clever - I'll work with my old technology for now.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Moving Forward

Fairly recently, the UK government issued a draft Industrial Strategy.  Any discussion on this seems to have been drowned out by the Brexit rhetoric.  Yet it is too important to ignore. UK productivity is low - wages are low - living standards are low. We need a kick up the backside, to shock us into action ... or we need a sensible, long-term strategy.

Instead what we get is Brexit posturing - and all the media attention is fixed on that (and Trump, of course).

When I advise companies, I tell them to beware of concentrating on the urgent at the risk of ignoring the important.  Well, productivity improvement is both urgent and important - it is the only way out of the low wage, low living standards cycle.

Put the industrial strategy back on the table, please.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Rise of the robots - fall in productivity

week we talked about productivity levels - and the conundrum about unemployment and wage levels.

I suggested, as I have done several times lately, that we might need to reconsider how we measure productivity - since the measure used to compare nations uses labour productivity.

But the growth of robots and other automation devices has distorted this figure.  The cost of the robots is not part of labour cost - and their hours are not part of labour hours.

So, nations that have automated the most lose in the productivity figures.  This does not seem right.
This investment goes unrewarded and we are no longer comparing like with like.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Another productivity puzzle

Most of the old economic certainties have gone.

For many years, the 'rule' was the as unemployment levels dropped, wages would rise (to entice workers away from others to your organisation).  Since the great 2008 financial crisis, this has not proved true.  Unemployment has dropped to the point where the UK is close to full employment - but wages have not risen correspondingly (though they have risen).

This position is mirrored throughout the developed world.

The experts don't seem to know why this is so or whether this is a temporary phenomenon.

We seem to be in a position where all we can do is 'watch this space', 'wait and see'.

Or, as I have been suggesting in this blog lately, do  we need to change the way in which we measure productivity - to reflect the changed nature of industry.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The power of benchmarking

The UK government recently established the Productivity Leadership Group (PLG)  to try and boost the nation's productivity.

The PLG says that if all except our most competitive businesses were able to improve their productivity to match the companies ranked 10 per cent above them, an additional £130bn Gross Value Added (GVA) would be unlocked every year – certainly a boost to business confidence and national productivity.

The power of benchmarking of this kind is that when organisations see that others (and especially others in the same sector) are already achieving such results, it shows the 'art of the possible'. "If they can do it, we can too."

This is why we always suggest that governments should carry out sector benchmarking - and show organisations what is achievable - preferably against a number of productivity variables.... so that any one organisation might find its performs well against some of these variables but poorly against others.  If it could raise performance to be among the top performers against all variables, it gains a significant productivity increase.


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Don't take the credit - there is no glory.

The US has created lots of jobs since President Tump was elected.  I am sure he will take the credit - and bask in the reflected glory.

President Trump should be careful, though.  America's productivity is not rising.  Any wage rises will be at the expense of inflation.  In a year's time, we may have a better guide to the success of his policies - for now, those in work will be pleased... but may find their wage being eroded.

Short-term gains are often illusory.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Csan we believe the figures?

France takes the summer off.  Many factories close down for a month while workers holiday en masse.

Other European countries also take longer holidays than the UK.

Yet the productivity of these countries is higher.

Can anyone explain this - it is counter-intuitive.

I have voiced my doubts about the way we measure national productivity before.

Each time I note something like this, I become more convinced that we need to take a fresh look at what we measure and compare.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Technology is of little help

Over the last 50 years, there is no doubt that technology has made significant contributions to GDP and thus to national productivity. However most technology soon reduces in price and thus any contribution is soon lessened. Worse, we appear to be in a relative technology slump - there has been little true innovation in the last few years.

So, technology is not going to come to our rescue. We have to take the 'low road' and pick up all the small productivity gains we can. We need a systematic, national productivity drive with government addressing policy and infrastructure and companies addessing skills and culture. We can create impact but it's not going to be easy.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Too UK - centric?

A few of my recent posts have related to U K productivity and challenges.  This is not because the UK faces more challenges than anyone else (though Brexit is  causing some fears).

The UK is going through a 'bad patch' but is at least trying to do something about it with new committees and task forces being established.

Will they work?

I doubt it - but they might at least spark a discussion and debate which might release some fresh thinking.

So I am relatively optimistic.  I hope you are too  - for your country.

Help generate discussion - that generates ideas.  We need ideas - lots of them. And we need to share them.

And whether they relate to the UK - or somewhere else is irrelevant.  good ideas are good ideas wherever they originate.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Childish politicians

If your employees were fighting in factions, arguing among themselves and failing to do what you expect them to do, would you continue to pay them?  You might - but presumably you would also initiate disciplinary procedures to try to correct such behaviours.

I suspect, though, that your answer to the question is that you would not tolerate it - or that it wouldn't happen in your well -run organisation.

This is, however, what happens regularly, in politics. Both the US and the UK have exhibited such behaviours recently - infighting and squabbling between Republicans and Democrats - or Conservatives and Labourites.  All we, as the voting public, can do is to sit and watch - and perhaps seethe with anger - and wit until the next election.  These infighters and squabblers would not behave like this in the other compartments of their  life, surely.  But they seem to think this is how they are expected to behave as 'politicians'.

There is an old adage - 'we get the politicians we deserve' - so it must be our fault.

If we want productive government, we must demonstrate productive behaviours in all we do - and set these 'children' some role models.  We should also write to them and remind them of the constructive and productive behaviours we expect from our elected representatives - and we should certainly use our vote to sanction these unruly and unproductive behaviours whenever we get the chance.


Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Lost Decade

UK productivity in the first quarter of 2017 was the same as it was in 2007.  This  after relentless if sometimes slow growth over many years.So, not only have we not had the bounce i refereed to last week; we seem to have had a capsize and a sinking.

Successive governments seem to be powerless to do anything about the problem but at leat this current government seem to have recognised the problem - and have set up a new UK Productivity Council to try to do something about it.

Making up for10 years lost growth is probably impossible - but at least we could get growth moving again.

W owe it to the next generation to give them some momentum to build on.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Where's the Bounce?

The Office for National Statistics says that, had productivity in the UK returned to its pre-recession trend, it would be 20% higher than its current level. Britain would be one fifth better off.

The normal pattern is that after a recession, productivity bounces back and we recover (at least most of)what we lost.

However, we have had no bounce since the great financial crisis.

It ts not just the UK - the pattern is remarkably similar around the globe.

The time to wait for the bounce has gone - the UK needs action to recover.

Let's hope the new Productivity Council can pull the trigger.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Role model - Canada?

Canada's labour productivity rose 1.4% in Q1 2017.

This is not a spectacular result but a solid performance.

Sometimes, slow and steady progress is preferable to high gain, fall-back performance.  (Think 'tortoise and hare'.)

This is exactly why continuous improvement programmes, resulting in a number of evolutionary performance gains, often beat the occasional revolutionary improvement brought about by say, a technology change.

Ideally, of course, we want both - but waiting for the revolution is a bad strategy.  We need to keep the pressure on organisations to make the many, small improvements.

Take Canada as your role model!


Saturday, 1 July 2017

Think or Work?

We have been told a few times that what creates success is sheer hard work... the perspiration not the inspiration, and the 10,000 hours.  But many great men (and women) have achieved their greatness by original thought  by avoiding the 10,000 (wasted)  hours.

it seems that both routes might take you to success - and it perhaps depends on the kind of person you are as to what is right for you.

But what about a company.  They can't 'plod on' for 10,000 hours and expect an insight - or the achievement of some kind of superskill.

So, whoever runs the company has to have the insight - about a new product, a changed process, a new way of doing business - to transform the business.

If you are not thinking about how to transform and revolutionise your business -  wha are you doing?  How are you earning your keep?

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Church needed

I try to keep up to date with productivity trends and productivity news.

In scanning the airwaves and the twittersphere, I often see governments urging their citizens to be more productive.

At least in religions when people are urged to be more 'holy' there are priests and other religious leaders helping prepare them to be more holy - and explaining what being more holy means.

So, who are the productivity priests explaining to these probably confused citizens what they should do - and how they should behave - to be more productive.

What is the body that takes the role of 'church'?


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Paying for promises

In the UK, we have been through a rather exciting General Election - though as I write this, we have the same government and the same Prime Minister.

In their campaigns, all parties made us promises - of what they would do and deliver - better health care, more jobs, lower taxes, etc.

How would they pay for those promises that cost money- by raising taxes or cutting costs elsewhere.  (Oh yeah, that's going to happen!)

But how many of the parties mentioned the only real way of paying for the promises - higher productivity.

You guessed it ... not one of them.

If politicians looking for solutions don't realise that productivity is the answer - what hope is there?

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Need for more than exhortation

Many nations have realised that the only true long-term key to economic growth is productivity improvement.

The problem is that this realisation is often the end, rather than the start, of the matter.  Governments and their agencies exhort commerce - and perhaps even the population - to improve productivity and to compete - but without understanding their role in making this happen.

Exhortation and hectoring are not enough.  Governments need to provide infrastructure, skills, information and advice - in ways that are accessible - just in time, at just the right level - and at the right cost!

Its not rocket science - but it isn't easy either!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Robots revisited

I've referred to the subject (threat?) of robots several times in the last year.  Clearly they are going to have a big impact on many companies and on many people's jobs   - but exactly how, in what ways ,is not yet clear. For some time humans and robots are likely to be co-workers. Skilled workers will survive the longest.

Views on this subject vary - but sometimes writers seem to be scaremongering rather than making reasoned assumptions and predictions.

As ever, we will have to wait and see.

However, my reading in this area did throw up a word I wish I had coined - robopocalypse.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Feeling Moody

Global rating agency Moody's Investors Service sees a persistent decline in labour productivity growth, stemming from an ageing population and slow investments, as posing a key threat to global economic recovery.
The agency's report, titled "Collapse of Global Productivity Growth Remains Sizable Risk to Credit Conditions," published last week said global labour productivity growth fell to an average 1.7% in the post global financial crisis years of 2011-2015, compared to an average 2.6% between 1995-2007, Moody's.com reported.
In 2016 alone, labour productivity growth slowed to just 1.2%. Moody's said if productivity growth remains unchanged, global economic growth next year might be as low as 2.5%, significantly lower than previous estimates of 3.5%.
What are we doing about it?  What can we do about it?

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Robots are not the answer

The last 2 decades have sen the inexorable rise of the robot - especially in motor manufacture.  We have all seen the robotic arms lifting and fitting panels, spray painting, and so on.  Some workers have presumably been displaced  - but the economic gains have been substantial, surely.

Well, this rise of †he robot has been matched with the lowest productivity growth in recorded times.

Coincidence or causal relationship?

Well, there is some evidence that those displaced workers have had to take low paid, possibly part-time work - not the high skill jobs that were predicted.  And, worse - some could find no alternative work at all - the jobs are in the wrong place!

So, the rise of the robot might be good only for those who make and sell robots.  Or perhaps it simply takes time for society to adapt to such a massive change.




Saturday, 13 May 2017

Do we have the right education?

In the developing world, education standards have been rising for decades.  More and more of the population go to university and the number of degrees, and even higher degrees, rises relentlessly.

Yet, still employers maintain - as they always have done - that they cannot get employees with the right skills.

Note the word 'skills'.  Employers don't want more knowledge - that is easy to provide via Google - but skills are both expensive to provide -and take a long time to develop.

This means that the 'education' system must become more of an 'education and skills' system and skills must receive parity of esteem with knowledge.

In the UK, the proposed 'T levels' might help - but past initiatives have failed to change the 'esteem' with which skills are held. Teachers are knowledge-based - the wrong people to guide kids through a skills-based curriculum.  Changing this will take perhaps a couple of generations, helped by kids' increasing reluctance to take on the massive loans to fund university attendance.

But, of course, employers must play their part - by reducing their reliance on the degree as a 'first sift' of job applicants -and recognising skills where they exist.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Automation isn't everything.

Japan has a highly automated industrial sector which has fuelled productivity growth over several years. However this efficient sector is only a pat of the Japanese economy (though an important part) and the rest of the economy - and especially the services sector has a very poor track record - relying on long hours of hard work to get things done, rather than streamlined processes and procedures.

The lesson is that you need to make improvements where they have maximum impact, not where they are easiest to make.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Productivity and Trump's Tax Turnoff?

Donald Trump is hailing his tax cutting plans as 'radical' and likely to stimulate US growth.How will they affect US productivity?

Well, the way in which productivity responds to trade measures is not clear ... but if corporations are paying less tax, they may spend more on capital infrastructure or on R&D - and both of those are generally beneficial to productivity.  However, they take time to show up in the figures - so don't expect short term productivity gains.  And with long-term investments, often something else (some short term effect or expediency) often intervenes.

So, as ever, we wait and see.  We hope.  And if it all works our, we might have to hail Trump as a visionary.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Should we encourage laziness?

Is laziness helpful in making people more productive? does it encourage them to seek less arduous ways of achieving the same output?

Well, certainly the opposite is not true  Busyness is not a sign of high productivity. Too many people are busy but essentially unproductive - because they are either doing the wrong things or doing them in the wrong way.

Think about people like maintenance engineers - ideally we want them either doing nothing or carrying out planned maintenance - we do not want them working on breakdowns and emergencies.

So, perhaps we should encourage people to create more 'idle time' as a reward for improving how they carry out their own tasks


Saturday, 15 April 2017

IMF is right

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has issued a stark warning that living standards will fall around the world unless governments take urgent action to increase productivity by investing in education, cutting red tape and incentivising research and development.
 Whether or not, you agree that her prescription is what is needed to improve productivity - or is complete, it is good that someone so influential is spreading the message about the need for productivity development. 
I actually think she has got it mostly right - I would add infrastructure development, and would add training to education ... but her summary is pretty effective.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Well, I declare ...


I am just returning from the Wold Productivity Congress - an interesting and rewarding event.The  programme was too rich and varied to be summarised here but the spirit of the even† is captured by
the Congress Declaration which is reproduced here.

Declaration - Bahrain 2017


We, the members of the global productivity movement, gathered in Bahrain for the World Productivity Congress from 1st to 4th April 2017 have been informed and inspired by three days of discussion, debate and deliberation on the Congress Theme of "New Roads to Innovation and Higher Productivity”. 

This theme was in part inspired by the position of Bahrain (like other nations in the Gulf region) as needing to move to become a post-oil economy and needing to identify a range of routes towards economic growth. 

As a result of our deliberations, we, the members of the global productivity community affirm the following principles underlining productivity development:

·      improved productivity remains the only effective route to creating secure and sustainable solutions to the provision of energy, food and water to the growing global population;

·      productivity development must be supported by innovative thinking and technological development, which in turn need the establishment of a supportive innovation ecosystem; 

·      at the national level, productivity development is supported by the creation of healthy communities (of engaged, empowered and participating citizens;

·      though the overall concepts and philosophy of productivity science remain globally applicable, specific productivity campaigns, approaches, tools and techniques must be applied in ways which are informed by local history and culture;

·      at the organisational level, productivity improvement is supported by an informed, engaged workforce, members of which have their knowledge and skills regularly reviewed and refreshed.

We pledge our individual and collective commitment to:

spreading awareness of these principles to key policy and decision-makers.

ensuring that national and regional productivity development policy and practice is informed by the above principles

We thank the country of Bahrain for creating a rich and rewarding event which led to the formation of these principles and we thank His Highness Shaikh Mohamed bi Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain, for his guidance and leadership as patron of the Congress.


Friday, 31 March 2017

Journey

I am travelling today from the UK to Bahrain for the World Productivity Congress.

I do not expect world-shattering insights ... but I do expect to think  and act a little differently from next week after the presentations and discussions.

When I stop learning - and being able to use that learning to think and act differently - I will really be 'old' and I might as well give up.

Life is a journey through experience.  Real journeys - especially to different cultures - add massively to those experiences.  I consider myself lucky to have travelled extensively around the globe.  But I consider myself sensible to have approached that travel with an open mind, to have observed, listened and reflected and built my own 'world view'.

Those of you who are joining me in Bahrain for the Congress, please stop me and say 'Hello'.  Those who cannot  .. let's hope there is another opportunity for our journeys to cross.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Get help from wherever you can?

Most of us will admit that we are not experts in all areas. (Some of us will even admit to not being an expert in any area.)

So, we take advice, help and support from those who know more than we do - or at least we do if we are sensible.

Of course we have to find knowledgeable people who know about our field of operation, or our type of problem.

Some of us use conferences to help us find experts.  We can use sector-based events that offer information and presentations form experts in our sector. Or we can use generic events, recognising that many lessons are transferrable across sectors  and it is the tools, techniques, approaches and methodologies we should be looking at.

I shall be at the World Productivity Congress shortly (April 2-4) to learn, share, discuss, reflect on issues around productivity - at the global,  regional, national and organisational level.  I don't necessarily expect to learn the 'great secret to productivity improvement' - but I do hope to hear about developments that will help me refine my own approach to supporting productivity development.

What have I got to lose.  Very little.
What have I got to gain. Possibly a great deal.

There is (just about) time to join me - what have you got to lose/gain?
Check out www.wpc-bh.com for information.


Saturday, 18 March 2017

Micromanaging

Lots of management texts and courses tell us about the details of planning, organising and managing.  One problem is that managers can tend to think that they themselves have to immerse themselves in the detail.  They become micromanagers, obsessed about small steps and detail - instead of concentrating on the big picture and trusting others 'down the chain' to worry about detail. 
Employees see this as a lack of trust - and can often even see the manager doing their job for them.  Naturally, they turn off and disengage
Nobody likes to be micromanaged. So, don’t do it.


Saturday, 11 March 2017

Productivity vs Efficiency

These two terms are often used interchangeably - but they are different.  Here I am not concerned with technical differences - but with philosophical or attitudinal differences.

Organisations that pride themselves on being efficient usually strive to achieve the same performance with fewer resources - doing the same with less.

Conversely, organisations that aim to be highly productive usually strive to do more with the same resources -doing more with the same.  They concentrate on the 'top line' (of the productivity ratio) - and the 'bottom line' takes care of itself.


Saturday, 4 March 2017

Brexit (briefly) re-visited.

No-one is quite sure why the UK voted to leave the EU - but a recent study into the habits of 500 SMEs (small and medium enterprises), commissioned by online printing company instantprint, revealed that dealing with HR compliance forms, pension paperwork and health and safety regulations eats up an average of ten hours of the working week.

These companies took so long complying with regulation that they had  little or no time to focus on business growth.

This is not a recipe for success - and may be a small contributing factor to the Brexit vote.

Certainly we have to hope that Mrs May and her government will be looking to reduce the burden of bureaucracy as the UK leaves the EU.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

India's soft success

India is held up as the latest 'economic miracle' - transforming its economy over the last 20 years.  It is often suggested that success is down to 'hard' factors - such as technical ability, capital investment - and, of course, cheap labour.

But India has recognised the importance of 'softer' skills ands factors - such as teamwork, problem-solving and communication.  Young Indians are receptive to modern approaches to organising and managing a workforce and respond positively.

In fact, a study by the University of Michigan, on female garment workers (in Bangalore)  showed that providing training in soft skills raised productivity by 12%.

Sometimes, simple approaches are the best.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

AI can help

I talked last week about AI - posing the question whether this is the next big technological driver of productivity improvement.

Some people are really worried about AI - and its effects on jobs, suggesting that most jobs in time can and will be replaced by some form of automation.

However, before that happens we are likely to hit a 'sweet spot' where automation/robots/AI assist human work  his will allow work which is not possible now.  the winners will be those that can spot the opportunities and create products and services that rely on these new forms of thinking and movement for their execution.

So the future is not bleak - as with most technology, it is full of exciting opportunities.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The next big thing

Technological innovation can drive massive productivity gains - but it is some time since we have had innovations of the size of those in the 1970s and 1980s - when the PC first hit desktops - and 'productivity software' followed.

Now industry waits for the next major impetus  - and governments hope we might get something of such magnitude that it helps solve the great 'productivity puzzle' (whereby productivity growth stubbornly refuses to match pre-economic crisis levels.

Is Artificial Intelligence the answer?  AI is being trumpeted as the next big thing - and †he big tech players are investing millions.

Yet, so far, we see better ways to play our music or switch between apps - but nothing significant in the apps themselves ... or - even more important - new forms of app.

These might come, of course.  Technological revolutions do not happen overnight.

Certainly, at the moment, AI seems to be the only contender for 'the next big, technological productivity driver'.

Watch this space.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Not R&D

The world needs to improve productivity - if we are to raise living standards, feed the world and avoid water and fuel shortages. Yet, governments seem unable to do this - productivity has been at best sluggish over the last 10 years.

Some governments - rightly - see a link between innovation and productivity - but then they go too far in thinking that increased R&D spending will improve innovation.

innovation is not invention - innovation is more concerned with identifying new uses for today's (and even yesterday's) technologies.

So ,yes, we need to improve innovation .
But no, R&D spending is not the way to do it.

I am not advocating spending less on R&D - invention is also important - but we need to look more at how we create the conditions in which people think differently - education, training, induction, empowerment - some of these are government responsibilities, others are for the private sector to work on.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Too blunt

GDP per hour worked is †he normal way in which we measure - snd compare - national productivity.

This  is at best a 'blunt instrument'.  There are so many factors that affect GDP besides productivity.

So, when you read that, say, UK productivity is low compared to another country - take the information with 'a pinch of salt'.

I think the way in which we measure national productivity requires  review, if not an overhaul.  We need to look at social and environmental factors so that we include societal and planetary well-being.





Saturday, 21 January 2017

Has the UK got it wrong?

The productivity of Germany and France (GDP per hour worked) is strong - and almost identical ... even though Germany is normally regarded as a strong economy and France as a weak one.

Perhaps the 'social models' that exist in much of European industry have some merit - and the UK might be better to embrace such models as a part of the EU rather than rush for the exit doors.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Disruption

We've all seen technology completely disrupt certain industries - photographic film, film cameras, music recording, etc.

Sometimes what emerges from this process of disruption is a changed but equally strong industry; but sometimes the disruption is so great and over such a long period that the former industry dies but the new one takes a long time to get established. How many of you have got an electric car?

Internal disruption can be quite unsettling too.  If mis-managed, new initiatives and new ideas can cause disruption to current ways of working but the new form of working takes too long to establish - and customers are disappointed.  The drop in performance might be so huge that it takes months or even years to make up.

So, when making major change - plan, plan and plan - and then make sure you have the skills to execute.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Trump's trade conundrum

Donald Trump aims to 'make America great again' by re-patriating manufacturing and putting Americans back to work.

Laudable aims - but practical?

The second can't happen without the former .... but if he does succeed in bringing outsourced manufacturing back onshore, in the  short term at least, the US is likely to need more labour hours. Evidence of he last 10 years suggests this may come from immigrants rather than the deskilled, dispirited native workforce.

This conflicts with other elements of Trump's avowed policies.

Perhaps Donald will find it isn't as easy as he thought it was.

Welcome to the real world, President Trump!