Saturday, 28 February 2009

Arresting data

I make no bones (interesting cultural reference point, there) for returning to the important point about being careful what you measure. I recently read an American local newspaper which was lauding the local police force for its improved productivity - they had arrested more felons in the last month than in each of the previous 6 months.

Now, all well and good ... but it depends on what you want from a police force. I would prefer fewer arrests, with more prevention and deterrence.

But 'safe streets' look like an idle police force .. nothing to shout about or to be rewarded for.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Patently Obvious

If the current rate of progress is maintained, China will become the number one nation for obtaining patents by 2012. China currently lies 3rd behind only the USA and Japan.

China's patent law was passed only in 1985 so the rate of development has been impressive ... for a country that was always characterised - even caricatured - as being a technology and idea copier, not an innovator.

Clearly China's creative productivity has been rising steadily.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Who would be a national leader?

Leaders are currently trying to work out that to do to help their country through this turbulent economic time. A number are 'bailing out' their banks and investing in public infrastructure projects to get money circulating. Is this the right approach?

Well, one particular problem is that it won't work if only a small number of countries do it ... and if some of them do it half-heartedly. It needs co-ordinated action.

And if it fails, those who tried it have wasted their investment.... those who kept out (held their nerve?) then have an advantage.

Only time will tell who is right ... but I'm glad I'm not wearing those shoes!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Open plan closes down

Recent research - looking at a number of existing studies - suggests that modern office layouts lead to lower productivity and higher worker stress.

The researcher, Dr. Vinesh Oommen, from the Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said that:

"In 90 percent of the research, the outcome of working in an open-plan office was seen as negative, with open-plan offices causing high levels of stress, conflict, high blood pressure, and a high staff turnover.”