Saturday, 29 October 2016

Measuring and Motivating talent

Talented individuals often  need reassurance and explicit motivation - if we are to retain them over time.  Many of them know they are talented - and therefore know their own market value.

Many of them, however, do not need high salaries to motivate them - what they often want is a need to feel they are contributing and making a difference to the organisation they work for.

That is why they often like to work for start-ups ... their impact is both more direct and more visible.

So, you should let them know they are being monitored - this, as the Hawthorne effect reminds us - is itself a motivating factor.  and you should measure their impact - and let them know it is being measured.

Your key performance indicators should include measures that are people/talent related.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Crossing the frontier

Frontier companies are those who operate at the technology frontier - early and effective adopters.  Unfortunately in the UK, there are few such companies and far too many laggards who adopt technology late and often reluctantly.

We need to convince these laggards to evaluate technology as an opportunity, not perceive it as a threat.  At the moment we seem to be simply waiting for the technology-literate generation Z to grow into positions of responsibility and authority.

Industry leaders and advisers have a responsibility to lead their sector down the technology road.  The rest of us need to walk that road, keep an open mind and look for all the benefits - in terms of improved customer response as well as in terms of cost.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Rhymes at Times

Sometimes it seems  difficult to get the productivity message over to people - the young aren't interested and it seem to be way down the priority list of many business people and politicians.

So, perhaps we have to try communicating in different ways - ways that 'chime' with intended audiences, using language thy relate to - and even using language that grabs their attention.

I saw an example of this recently with an agricultural productivity event being advertised under the banner of 'plows and cows' (US spelling, of course).

I noticed this event immediately - it had my attention.  Of course, the event still has to be effective - but getting people's attention is the first stage in giving them useful information.

There might be a danger in being seen to 'dumb down' but I think getting people focused on productivity should be our key aim.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Future US productivity?

I am in the USA on vacation.  While here, I have watched the first Presidential debate and the Vice-President's debate.

Of course i was interested in discovering how each of the parties would influence future US productivity.

Having listened to the debates (and the surrounding analysis), I have absolutely no idea   .... and I am convinced the candidates have no idea either.  I didn't necessarily expect them to use the word 'productivity' but I did expect them to address the issue.  I heard bits of fiscal policy and bits about 'infrastructure' but nothing about innovation or industrial policy (except for 'bring the jobs back').

Sorry, America - its down to the private sector without government support  - the politicians (and the neo-politicians) are too busy posturing to create real policies.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Prioritise the Manageable

One of my great 'life lessons' came about from reading a quotation which I think is attributed to the Dalai Lama.

"If you are in control of a situation, there is no need to worry.  If you are not in control, there is no point worrying.  So, why worry?"

Similarly in business, there are things you can control (or manage) and things outside of your control (external factors).  You need to be aware of the external factors (how the environment is changing, what your competitors are doing, and so on) but you should concentrate your activity on those things you can manage.