Saturday, 28 March 2009

European Productivity Conference

We are now deep into the organising process for this event. (Interestingly, setting themes and topics makes you think about current issues and priorities.) It is starting to look as though we will actually deliver the high quality event we have always aspired to. If you want information on the event - October 28th - 30th, Grimsby, UK - contact me .. or Helen Thompson (

We are sure you will both learn and enjoy!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Thinking is good for you

Yesterday I was at a strategic planning session for one of the bodies I am associated with. We moved thinking on ... but we had no outputs that we could show anyone. Were we productive? Of course. Most plans have intermediate targets or milestones, and all have stages which aren't even worth describing as such. Thinking is one such stage. Leave it out and you are doomed to disaster... but it is amazing how often people seem to 'do' without thinking first.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

UK needs to do better

UK Productivity is still lagging behind that of its major rivals according to recently published figures. The data – from the Advanced Institute for Management Research (Aim), which is funded by the UK government's Economic and Social Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council - suggests that output per hour was 15 per cent behind that of the United States and France last year and 10 per cent behind Germany.

While the "productivity gap" is closing, the authors suggest that shortfalls in innovation, skills and management practices and too much regulation hold the UK back.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The one true test?

Ask a businessman (or woman)about productivity ... and you are likely to get an answer about profitability. Of course - for a business - whether it is profitable is the one true test ... but it tells an incomplete story.

A real businessman wants to understand tomorrow's profitability, not today's ... and that is far more likely to be revealed by looking at today's productivity.

And increasingly, as we look to address the needs of a variety of stakeholders, our businessman needs to look at economic productivity, social productivity and environmental productivity. We need to look at each of these in the longer term.

It seems as though over the last few years many organisations have looked at only short-term economic productivity ... and today we are all paying the price.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

How does your garden grow?

Many nations are examining the mess left by recession. Many of those have come to the conclusion much too late that debt-fuelled growth is not sustainable.

They are at last realising that sustainable growth comes from improved productivity ... it will be interesting to see how they go about changing policy and action now they have learned this lesson!