Saturday, 27 March 2021

Personal Guru?

 Can a personal productivity guru help you reach new productivity heights?

Many of  us look to new tools and rtechndquwes, new technologies ologies, new approaches to stimulate our thinking about how to get more done in the same time.

These new ‘things’ seem to work for a time and then run out of steam … but, in reality, of course, it is us who run out of steam. 

Its like our New Year resolutions and our new fitness programme.  The excitement of a new initiative will keep us motivated for a few sessions but then it gets repetitive and the excitement wanes. We move on to the the next exciting initiative. 

A personal trainer can make a big difference. They can cajole and  motivate us, as well as improving technique and helping us do the right things.

Well, a productivity coach can do the dame things - to improve our productivity.  In the world of Lean Six  Sigma, a Black Belt can perform this function - maintaining a central focus on longer-term productivity improvement.

If we safer not a Lease /Six  Sigma organisation, we still might need someone to help the organisation maintain this productivity focus - someone in the senior team who can direct efforts continually towards productivity improvement.  They should pay for themselves many times over.

Can you afford not to have such a person?

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Where has the wealth gone?

According to the US Economic Policy Institute, productivity increased by 69.6% since 1979, while the average compensation in wages across the entire economy has grown by 11.6% over the same amount of time.

The poor workers face other threats.  According to MIT, nearly half a million jobs were lost to automation between 1990 and 2007 alone. Furthermore, the Brookings Institution states that nearly a quarter of all jobs done by humans today are considered at “high risk” of being lost to automation in some way or another in the coming years. 

As robots and complementary technologies become a fundamental part of the economy, they will drive productivity while ensuring wage growth stagnates as desperate people accept lower-paying jobs.

So where has the excess weaslth gone?

This question is not hard to answer.

Over the last 30 years we have seen the rise and rise of the super-rich. In most western countries, and quite a few Eastern ones,  The ruling classes get richer. Many countries are ruled by an oligarchy.

Those who generate the wealth - by improving their productivity, and taking the risks of being automated out, are falling further behind. This is a basis for social revolution not a happy society.   The ruling classes have failed democracy; voters feel they have a part to play - but whoever is elected makes little difference.  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Unfairness cannot work over the longer term. 

We need to ensure that social productivity is improved alongside economic gains.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Learning from Lockdown

Before lockdown many firms were experimenting with networking/collaborative tools, hoping to improve the inter-connectedness of departments, people and processes.

When the lockdown hit, many of them accelerated the move to the various tools `and technologies simply to keep the organisation functioning from lots of home locations.

Now lockdown is at an end (or nearing its end), those firms have an opportunity to review the use of the tools that have supported remote working - identifying what worked … and what didn’t. 

Understandably, there will be a tendency to stick with the tools that have become familiar… but we productivity professionals know that there is a danger in accepting the existing satisfactory situation at the expense of missing the chance to move to a better one.

So, the review is important.  First, though, it is important to review what we want these tools to do, to achieve.  Then review how well each tool meets those needs.

Let’s make sure the lockdown has some positive results and leads us into an improved and more productive future. 

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Delayed Gratification

Young children take some time to accept that delayed gratification can sometimes  be an improvement on instant.  For example, waiting for a treat can make that treat better - the period of anticipation can heighten the pleasure.  Children also learn that saving small amounts of money to build funds fort a bigger purchase increases the choices available.

Some businesses and businessmen never seem to learn this lesson.  They always aim for short term profit rather than realising that investing gains can significantly increase longer-term gains.

Strategy is a device for imposing a longer-term view.  The vision must be longer-term and will consist of shorter-term projects and activities that move the organisation towards this longer-term vision.

Of course, all stakeholders have to accept this need for a longer-term view … so sometimes it is necessary to ‘sell’ the vision, and hence the strategy.

The gratification (and results) can be more intense if you wait, however.

Ask a growing child.