Thursday, 28 February 2013

Unemployable graduates

We (in the Institute of Productivity) have been doing some work in India recently and have been talking to employers about the process of employing recent graduates and post-graduates. What came across loud and clear and often were comments that such graduates are not 'work-ready' because they lack the knowledge and skills to become an effective member of an organisation on day1.

Graduates knows (lots of) stuff ... but they cannot do stuff.

This led us to produce our latest book - Productivity and Employability skills - which helps develop some of the key organisation-related skills, but does so in the context of parallel and complimentary porductivity improvement skills. Our belief is that we can help graduates 'hit the ground running' when they enter the world of work.

Because we are developing skills, the book is backed up by materials and exercises on our website where that can develop skills and receive feedback.

Go to the IoP Academy for details of the book.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

You must guard your ownsupply chain

I don't know whether you know about the horsemeat scandal in the UK - where horsemeat has been found in a range of pre-produced 'beef' products but it  does remind us that each of us is responsible for securing our own supply chain - and knowing what goes on within  it.

We can't blame our suppliers, our distributors or the government when something like this happens.  Well, we can try ... but our customers will hold us responsible ... and it is our brand that will suffer.

it takes a long time to build a brand; it takes one scandal - or perceived scandal - to destroy it.

How secure is your supply chain?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Some productivity methodologies and techniques seem to be more used in specific sectors.

This suggests that either they are in some way particularly suited to the processes involved in that sector .... or perhaps just a historical accident that the methodology or technique started in that sector and has not yet broken our into wider industry.

My view is that all techniques are applicable in all sectors ... especially since most of them are simply structured ways of asking searching questions.

So, because a technique seems to be well-established in a particular sector doesn't mean you shouldn't transfer it to your own sector.  After all learning from others is always a useful approach.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Measure carefully

Two old adages say "Measurement creates understanding" and "You get what you measure".

The first is self-explanatory - if you want to understand a situation, measure it, once you know how mant/much, when, at what rate and at what quality levels things happen you can take sensible decisions about processes.

The second adage implies that measuring things changes the behaviour of those associated with those things - when they realise what you think is important(because you are& measuring it) they will give you more of that measured factor - but perhaps at the expense of other important things which either you are not measuring or they do not know you are measuring.

The lesson is that measurement is important - it does indeed help you understand what is going on ... and helps you work out why. But if you measure the wrong things, you might get changed behaviours that you had not planned to, and do not want.

So measure - but be careful what and how you measure.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Declutter the declutterers

There are many blogs offering 'personal productivity' advice - often linked to reminder/time management software... but often just offering simple advice. A common piece of advice is to 'declutter' your life - get rid of distractions and focus on the real issues.I can see the wisdom in this so from now on I will stop reading such blogs and focus on real work.

I feel decluttered already.