Saturday, 25 December 2010


Many readers of this blog do not celebrate Christmas. However, even for the this is a good time to think about presents and gifts?

Think about what would really transform your organisation - new technology, new ideas, new organisation, or whatever ... and then think about how you can become Santa (the catalyst) that can make it happen.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Energy Strategies

Governments around the globe are trying to determine 'sensible' energy strategies. Sometimes these strategies cost (taxpayers) quite a bit of money as governments mandate or encourage the switch to 'greener' energy technologies.

However, it is clear that (as fuel gets scarcer) the costs of fossil-based fuels will continue to rise. So we clearly need to switch to greener alternatives ... the question is how fast?

For example, the California Energy Commission earlier this month approved almost $2 million for the University of California Davis to develop ways to increase the energy efficiency of light commercial buildings.

The research represents a promising opportunity for helping the state reach its ambitious greenhouse gas and energy efficiency targets. The goal of the project at UC Davis is to increase the energy efficiency of existing multi-tenant light commercial buildings — such as strip malls, office parks and mixed-use developments — while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The project aims to identify the best technologies to use, market barriers to avoid and to make recommendations for retrofitting buildings. Three principal investigators will join faculty and staff from the California Lighting Technology Center, the Energy Efficiency Center, the Graduate School of Management and the Western Cooling Efficiency Center on the project.

There are bound to be mistakes and stumbles along the way to a greener future ... but we do need to progress on this journey ... and we need more research like this to give us better signposts for the journey.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Good or Bad Figures

I see lots of national and regional productivity figures ... I even publish some of them in this blog.

However, I am holding back at the moment ... the recent (ongoing?) recession means that most figures are not really to be trusted. Oh, they're 'accurate' ... but at the start and end of recessions especially there are lag effects that make interpretation of the figures more difficult ... and certainly more dangerous.

So, in many countries productivity appears to be going up .. but that's because output is rising but many organisations have not started re-hiring ... they are using overtime and other temporary ways of providing the resources necessary to create those outputs.

So, governments should be way about trumpeting higher productivity ... in time the figures will settle to their 'real' levels.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Jamaicans - Read This!

The publication Jamaica: Productivity Summary Report 1972-2007, by the Jamaica Productivity Centre, should be required reading for all Jamaicans - government ministers, officers and public and private sector management and employees. It states: "Labour productivity or output per worker has been declining at an annual rate of 1.3 per cent over the past 34 years (1973-2007). For the past five years (2003-2007) this decline has increased to 1.8 per cent per annum."

And this is at a time when technoloy has been revolutionsining manufacturing, offices, hopsitals and mostl other workplaces.

The statistics also compare most unfavourably with the figures achieved by Jamaica's Caricom partners who have shown improvements of 1.5 per cent per annum from 1972, and pf 2 per cent in the last 10 years. The report states: "In 1997 the average worker in Trinidad was three times more productive than the average Jamaican worker. However, this gap had widened to over five times by 2007".