Saturday, 26 May 2012


Some of the jobs we do don't show results for a long time - especially things like strategic planning. But we all like a bit of gratification, something that tells us we've done well.

So try to build rewards into your own work processes , 'ticking off' small (but important) jobs in the gaps in your working day to give you that sense of instant achievement.

And remember, your staff feel the same. Make sure you reward them regularly with a (metaphorical) pat on the back or a smile.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Looking is more than observing

I've just returned from a trip to Pakistan looking at their fan manufacturing sector.  In many of the factories, conditions were poor and productivity was low. However, the owners of these factories were keen to listen and keen to try out low cost suggestions for improvement.

Whilst going round 'looking' at what was going one, I was reminded of the need to talk to the operators (difficult when they only speak Urdu) and to see 'beyond the obvious'.  However, it is what we put together from our vision and hearing that allows us to 'see' what is really going on.

It was also important to remember that things might not work across a cultural divide ... and that local conditions might mitigate against some improvements ... the unstable power supply in Pakistan means that buffer stocks might be necessary to allow for manual work to take place when machines cannot be powered.

So look, listen and thin ... then you can see solutions!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Not another survey

Not a week goes by without some survey or another showing a link between X and Y ... between healthy workplaces and productivity, for example.

However, in almost all cases, there are just surveys ... usually of people with a vested interest (workplace health practitioners in the above example) and undertaken by a company with another vested interest (providers of workplace health-related products or services).

This doesn't mean that there is not a relationship between X and Y ... simply that a small survey of vested interests is not the way to establish such a relationship.

Be careful what you read!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Make it harder, please

The state of Alaska has a relatively new law that requires a quarter of public buildings to be 15 percent more efficient by 2020.

Good?  Well, no actually.  This is low hanging fruit, easily achievable and no real challenge.

It certainly isn't going to help the global problem.

So, come on, Alaska ... and others. We need more from you.