Saturday, 25 September 2010

Can we offset public sector cuts

Public sector cuts are coming ... indeed, in some case they are already here.

The doom-mongers suggests that there will be massive cuts in services resulting ... but is this necessarily true?

Local government is lagging behind the private sector in terms of getting the most out of staff, according to research into workplace productivity by Knox D'Arcy.

The management consultancy's study found that more than two thirds of junior staff members' working day is lost on average, while the staff utilisation rate for local government stands at 32%.

In comparison, the private sector had a rate of 44%. If the public sector matched this rate, staff numbers could be cut by approximately 500,000 without affecting services.

Paul Weekes, the report's author and principal consultant at Knox D'Arcy, said: "Put simply, by matching average private sector staff utilisation levels, local government could increase its productivity by roughly a third.

"This sort of dramatic increase would help significantly offset the cuts that are on the agenda as part of the government's austerity package."

It was also found that managers and supervisors within local government were spending fewer than 15 minutes a day engaged in "active" management tasks, such as following up work assigned to their team.

Monday, 20 September 2010


The National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) at Podhavur village near Tiruchi, a unit of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, has released a special micronutrient, ‘banana sakthi,' for enhancing crop productivity.
This is one of the major outcomes of research undertaken at the NRCB this year, said M. M. Mustaffa, director. He was speaking at the inaugural of an exhibition-cum-seminar on banana conducted as part of the foundation day celebrations of the NRCB recently. Mr. Mustaffa said that the nutrient was a solution comprising a mixture of zinc, iron, copper and boron and should be sprayed on leaves during the fourth and fifth months of the season.

Giving away the ‘banana sakthi' to farmers present on the occasion, he said that there was a strong need for supplying micronutrients to the crop. Continued application of chemical fertilizers coupled with lack of awareness of its importance had resulted in serious shortfall of micronutrients, he said.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Recipe for Success

Korea (South, of course) has had a meteoric rise up the competitiveness ladder ... mirroring that of Singapore a couple of decades earlier.

To what do we attribute their successes. Well, of course to productivity - borne out of essentially stable economies, favourable macroeconomic climates .. and discipline - a willingness of the workforce to work for both their own gain and the greater good of society.

But one other thing as well - creativity. Both of these countries - and especially Korea - have not only adopted 'Western' technologies ... they have adapted, refined, improved and extended them.

This is a 'killer combination - productivity and creativity. Together, they are unbeatable. Of course each will slip a little ... but if that overriding discipline remains, they will come back.

Singapore has been 'off the pace' recently - not performing badly, but not as well as it was doing .. or as it can. The government knows this and is taking measures to rectify this 'slippage' ... and it has Korea firnly in its sights as both role model and competitor.