Saturday, 31 January 2009

If you were Obama ...

If you were Obama, contemplating spending billions on jump starting the US economy ... where and how would you spend the money? The answer will almost certainly be on 'where the jobs are' .... but that's not necessarily the right place. The right answer is 'where it will make a difference to productivity'.

After all - in the medium to longer term - only improving productivity increases wealth, jobs and President-satisfaction ratings!

Monday, 26 January 2009

More tea, please

In a bid to boost tea productivity, the Tea Board of India, along with the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Plantation Management (IIPM) is setting up a Tea Planters’ Productivity Council (TPPC).

At present there is significant disparity in the management practices and the productivity levels among tea estates even within the same region and the proposed TPPC will work through district and zonal councils which would work like quality circles, providing a platform for disseminating information on best management practices.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

What are the rules?

In the UK - as elsewhere - the government is desperately trying to introduce measures to 'fix' the economy ... but this is new ground we are covering. Nobody knows what the rules are. We do know that it is difficult for any government to fix their own economy in isolation ... yet they have to be seen to be trying.

And for businesses, what happens to productivity when survival is all that matters?

The 'rule' here is that productivity always matters ... and businesses taking difficult decisions have to think through the unintended consequences of those decisions and how they impact on future productivity.

If you can, keep your nerve!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Measuring the right things?

Presumably those who measure or assess the performance of banks would - 2 years ago - have re-assured us of the excellent performance of UK High Street banks. Now, we see some of them 'brought to their knees' and most of the rest struggling to make it through this 'credit crunch' period.

Were we using the wrong measures? Or did we just forget the importance of measuring risk alongside other measures?

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Share and share alike

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards in Canada, in a report issued last week, suggests that from 1980 to 2005 Canadian labour productivity increased by 37 per cent, while wages - adjusted for inflation - showed no real increase at all over the same period.

The study went on to suggest that if earnings had kept pace with the increase in the productivity over, full-time workers in Canada would have enjoyed a median income of $56,826 in 2005, considerably more than the $41,401 median income that they actually earned.

So, who's keeping all the gains?

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Back to the grindstone

Happy New - and Productive - Year to you all. This one is going to be difficult for many companies. Certainly improving productivity has never been more important. So, keep working at it ... it isn't always easy, but it is always possible.