Saturday, 30 January 2021

Optimise, don't maximise

Can productivity be raised too far?

Is high productivity ever a problem?

Well, it depends on how you look at it and the context/situation you are considering/measuring.

For example, it is possible, by applying productivity improvement to one part of a process or sequence of activities, to create a bottleneck where the throughput of the target activity is greater than the productivity of the activities of the other parts of the process.

So, productivity needs to be optimised for the whole process, not maximised for any one part of it.


Saturday, 23 January 2021

What Can You Control?

If you can’t control events or situations, you might find yourself getting anxious.  This is negative thinking, likely to have an adverse effect on your performance and productivity.

In such situations, it is important to identify what you can control and focus on those things.

For example, when the pandemic hit, it was an external, major event.  You, within your organisation, were powerless to stop the threat affecting your organisation and your people.

But, you could control how the organisation reacted to the threat.  You could, previously, have controlled how the organisation planned for such an emergency.

You could control the external messaging with stakeholders.

Never waste time worrying about factors affecting your organisation, your processes or your people if you have no influence or control.  Turn the focus inward, into the organisation and work with those factors where you do have influence or control.  

You will feel better and be more effective,

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Information Matters

 There is some research evidence from India that suggests that providing farmers with information and advice about the use of pesticides, high yield seeds, weather forecasts, etc is more important than ‘showing them what to do’.  Farmers react more positively when you leave responsibility with them.  

Of course, today the technology exists to provide advice and information ‘just in time’ via mobile phones. If an advice service can provide information on seeds as the sewing season start, it is much better than giving a lecture 6 months before the second starts. 

In fact, this is a general principle.

Try to identify what information people need to be more productive and provide it in a convenient and timely form just as they need it. 

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Now is the Time to Think

As we gain hope, and maybe even confidence, with the first virus injections, it is time to reflect on the effects of the pandemic and form plans for the future.

There are two main items of consideration.

One is your readiness for the pandemic when it happened.  Did you handle it quickly? Well?

Was such a scenario within your business continuity planning?  Should it have been?

What would you change about the way in which you handled it?  

What should you now change to ensure you are better prepared for any repeat?

The second item to consider is the lessons learned. 

What have you learned about your organisation?  

What have you learned about remote working?

What have you learned about remote management of staff?

What changes will you make based on this learning?

If nothing will change, you are missing an opportunity for improvement.  If you miss opportunities for improvement, you will lose competitiveness.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Happy New Year

Was what you did and achieved in 2020 the best you could do, bearing in mind the limits caused by the pandemic?

If not, you have to think about what you can do and achieve in 2021 to improve. There is no point repeating what you did last year and expecting better results.

So, set yourself some performance goals - and then establish a set of action plans to achieve them.

Simply having goals in mind and striving to achieve them is likely to improve what you do.  If not, you should at least improve your ability to plan and to monitor progress against plans.

So, a minor win at least - and a major win at best.  What have you got to lose?

Happy New Year!