Monday, 31 December 2007

Last Reflection of 2007

The New Year is almost here. Will it bring new technologies? Certainly. Will it bring new thinking? Possibly. We are all constrained by our past, by our core values, by our preferred forms of action and thought, by our culture, by .....

Occasionally we can defeat all these and come up with an original idea.

Then, we start to get older - and more set in our ways, more subject to the constraints and barriers above.

If we have a New Year's resolution, it should be to keep young, keep flexible, keep alert in our thinking. Check your daily and weekly routines and think about how much of what you do is from force of habit .... "On Tuesday evenings, we always..." Change some of these habits and you might jolt your brain back into gear!

Monday, 24 December 2007

The Productivity Miracle

Well, tonight is the night! The most amazing logistics productivity miracle when Santa and his team of reindeer deliver presents to millions of boys and girls (or at least those who have been good).

How does he do it? Well, taking a a look at his corpulent frame, he doesn't seem to be a follow of 'lean thinking'.

Clearly there is some advanced science involved ... teleportation, uncertainty principles and so on. In fact the list of scientific innovations is so long I prefer to give it its collective term of ... magic.

Happy Christmas.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Productive Greetings

Well, for those of us who celebrate it, Christmas is almost here. I finish work today - which means that I pack lots of things I haven't been able to get around to into a bag and pretend I'm going to tackle them over the Christmas break.

On past experience, I might get around to some of them. Its not that I'm averse to working in the holiday; just that I prefer to do things I want to do rather than things I should do.

This year this is compounded by the fact that I know my wife has had words with Santa and he should be bringing me an audio interface and supporting software so that I can record, edit and mix music on my PC. There will be a (pleasurable) learning curve which might take my attention away from work.

I hope the rest of you work out your own appropriate work-play-rest balance and I wish you well for the holiday and for 2008.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

We never intended that...

A recent report from a committee of UK Members of Parliament suggests that recently revised NHS contracts which boosted hospital consultants' pay by more than a quarter have led to decreased productivity and a reduction in the number of hours worked.

Those of us in the performance measurement field will not be surprised at this. We know that it is absolutely crucial to know what you are measuring and why you are measuring it; and then to understand both the intended and possible unintended consequences of measuring it. You get what you measure and you get what you pay for! Therefore make absolutely sure that you are measuring and rewarding the right things.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Greener buildings

Builders in California are going back to school to learn how to cope with a new regulation which says that all new homes completed after 2020 must produce as much energy as they consume. The same regulation applies to all commercial buildings completed after 2030.

Of course the assumption is that buildings will consume very little and therefore need to produce very little ... but I haven't seen the detail and how carefully worded it is. A building that used lots of energy but produced lots of energy might meet the 'letter of the law' but would certainly not meet the 'spirit of the law' and could have a large carbon footprint. Let's assume they've got it right and rejoice.

(Quick law is often bad law!)