Saturday, 30 March 2013

Can I have a glass of water?

The Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) report reveals that not even one out of 49 countries of the Asia Pacific region can be considered ‘water secure’. South Asia and parts of Central and West Asia are faring the worst, with rivers under immense strain, it adds.
In the Asia Pacific region, the study highlights two stark realities – sharply rising inequality in access to water and sanitation, and the increasingly precarious state of rivers. It also presents measures that can be adopted to improve water security to mitigate growing pressure from booming populations, urbanisation, pollution, over-extraction of groundwater, climate change and other factors.
It added that there are already signs of growing water scarcity and environmental stress in large parts of important agricultural regions in Asia. Groundwater levels are falling in northern India, Pakistan and the northern plains of China, it points out.
80% of the rivers in the region are in poor health, as measured by the river health index. South Asian and Central and West Asian rivers have been assessed as being in the poorest health. Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka all have rivers that are in such poor health that environmental water security is threatened in these basins, the report warns.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Productive again

I talked last week about employability skills. During the past week I have delivered a pilot program developing employability skills using productivity as the 'engine' or focus. The students really enjoyed the program - in India they rarely get asked to 'do' something - and within a week had been in a factory and conducted an initial observation/analysis to identify the project they would do (as a team) over the next 3 weeks.  They will then carry out the project and produce a report which will go to the owner of the business and also be used as the basis of their assessment.

It has been fantastic to see the way they have responded to learning a new set of skills ... they have worked until 10 at night (voluntarily) .... and surmounted all challenges.

Just think how much talent has been wasted by not giving these people and all their peers the skills they need to make a positive contribution to the organisations in which they work.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Productive graduates

I  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 the WCPS to collaborate on the latest book from the Institute of Productivity in the UK- Productivity and Employability skills - which helps develop some of the key organisation-related skills, but does so in the context of parallel and complimentary productivity 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 the IoP website where they can develop skills and receive feedback.
If we can get into industry employable graduates who know something about the basic techniques of productivity improvement, then surely everyone wins.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Nice people

I have just got back from Turkey where I attended an event - a 'Leadership Camp' - organised by students for students - mainly students of industrial engineering. They had assembled an impressive set of speakers and sponsors and pulled off the whole event very well - complete with social programme.

Of course not only did they work hard to achieve their aims ... they had real fun. And people who have fun usually work well ... and they did.

They looked after me very well. So they are hard-working, talented,  committed and NICE people.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Small but effective

< I was reading something the other day which reminded me of the number of keyboard shortcuts available within some software packages.  If you take the time to learn these, they can shave seconds off simple tasks - improving your performance and productivity.  Yet each individual time you use one, the benefit is tiny.

Performance improvements in any process are like this.  Each one may be very small ... but a number of small improvements can make a substantial gain overall.

So always look for the simple, small gains ... but look hard and look often. They may offer you a massive gain over the next year.