Friday, 26 June 2009

Temporary sign-off

I am going on holiday ... to Dubrovnik. This blog will resume when I return. The holiday will be good because I have planned well and I am going with the attitude that if I don't enjoy it, it is my own fault. Attitude is so important in lots of areas of life ... you can change your own and you can influence the attitude of others. Sometimes this is much more important than practising your technical skills!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

More to learn

Well, I'm back from the Caribbean. This was my first visit and - as ever - the place was both similar to, and dissimilar from, my expectations. Talking to people tells you more than simply looking ... so I talked to as many as I could and learnt quite a lot about ... well, about lots of things.

Climate, culture, history (and each of the islands is different) mean that Western or Eastern 'standard practices' do not necessarily transpose. Yet there were astonishing examples of good practice - the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, Trinidad is amongst the best hotel I've stayed in ... and I was very impressed with the work of the Productivity Council in Barbados.

This was a first visit - and a first lesson. I hope to go back and learn more ... then I might start to make informed judgements. In the meantime, I celebrate the friendliness of the people ... surely an important asset!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Missing link

I am in the Caribbean at a conference (yes, I do lead a tough life ... see last posting). One of the presenters, Brian Copeland from the University of the West Indies proposed a pyramid model for knowledge transfer in support of economic development. He suggested that some countries (including Trinidad & Tobago) have most of the levels in place. Down at the bottom is trade and manufacturing, then comes product development. Up at the top is science and R&D. The missing level is product and process creativity and innovation. Without this link, the pyramid does not function.

As someone who recently designed and built an M.Sc course in Productivity & Innovation, how could I do other than agree!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Another circle to be squared

Many texts lead us to believe that it is difficult to improve and optimise productivity if the prevailing culture is not conducive and not shared. Yet today I read an article by Jeff Salz (a 'cultural anthropologist;!!) who suggests that what we should be seeking is "infodiversity" - a broad range of seemingly oppositional beliefs and assumptions - to create breadth, creativity and resilience in an organisation. Are both views right?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Where it is warm

I'm off to the Caribbean for a week ... first a conference, then meetings with the Barbados Productivity Centre. Friends think this is a 'perk of the job' but when I explain about the long-haul flights and the 4 different hotels in 1 week, they start to reconsider.

So, will it be fun. Of course. I am one of those very lucky people who are involved with work which is also their passion. I feel strongly in the mission of the World Confederation of Productivity Science: that increased productivity brings about enhanced wealth ... and that we can share that wealth .... and eventually - when we all share the same supply chains and are inter-dependent for all our well-being - we can sow the seeds of world peace. A lofty ambition - some might say naive and unrealistic. But I'm prepared to put in the effort to make my contribution. Are you?