Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Anyone who has practiced 5S will know the value of tidiness and cleanliness. Yet, all too often we see dirty, untidy workplaces ... creating inefficiency.

Wherever you see untidiness, think "This is costing me money" and you might start to think differently.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Are you listening, government?

The Australian Productivity commission has made some recommendations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The government is (probably) going to partially meet the funding requirements.

This process is fairly typical. A government funded body makes recommendations to government who accept the recommendations in principle but fail to implement or fund them completely.

I understand that governments have many calls on their funds and have to make difficult discussions on priorities ... but this does seem at best an imperfect process.

Any suggestions for improvement?

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Where are you?

Imagine for a moment that you are in charge of the country.

Your country needs you to increase its competitiveness… you know the best way to do this is to improve its productivity.

Of course, what you might do will depend very much on the country you are in charge of … its current economy, its current industrial strengths, the skill levels of the workforce, the nature of the infrastructure, etc.

So what you do depends on where you are.

The same is obviously true when improving organisational productivity. You need to know where the organisation is in terms of its development, in terms of its aspirations and aims, in terms of its progress towards meeting those aims, etc.

So, whenever you need to move forward, you first need to know where you are.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

When less is more

Sometimes we want output to go down .. sometimes we even want people doing as little work as possible. 

Think of maintenance engineers ... we want them efficiently and effectively involved in preventative maintenance. We want them sat down the rest of the time (if there is any 'rest of the time') .. we don't want them fixing breakdowns ... because we don't want breakdowns.

Governments too sometimes work too hard. Many of them seem to think their role is to pass legislation ... so they are relentless in passing legislation. But we want fewer laws, not more.

So, let's start a campaign ... to identify those jobs and roles where the preferred slogan is "Be more productive - do less work!".

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Italy Flags

Italy's productivity is on the decline. This is bad news for Italy and for the EU (and especially the Eurozone countries).

Italy seems to have a whole bureaucracy of regulation that keeps Italian companies small ..... making it difficult to secure economies of scale ... and stops them doing lots of things that would improve their productivity.

Of course this is unsustainable in the longer-term ... but Italy is a conservative country ... not really open to change.

I fear things have to get worse before they get better.