Saturday, 30 October 2021

Money is not enough

The UK government is pouring m ore money in to the National Health Service.

During the pandemic the NHS has been highly valued but terribly stretched and many of its normal day to day procedures have been cancelled or postponed all activity was focused on those with COVID.

However, pouring money into the NHS without a longer-term plan is not efficient or effective. Pouring  money into equipment, for example, has no point if the skilled personnel to operate that equipment have not been recruited or trained.  Similarly, however, hiring lots of new staff has no point if the beds and ancillary equipment do not exist.

Worse than this, pouring money in does not encourage higher productivity.  The NHS is a vast machine and s complex system. It must have many inefficiencies.  It needs an approach to re-evaluating structures, processes, procedures and skills to make it efficient and to create a vision for its future before the money goes in.

Now which politicians have the courage to propose that, and the determination to carry it through?

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Vision without strategy - no power!

Electric cars, buses, even planes. They are all coming.  Vehicles are  improving all the time.   As sensors become more efficient, range is extended - and range anxiety is the one factor that puts buyers off electric vehicles.  If, as a driver, you can’t make it to the next charging point, you’re in trouble.  But for a plane?  

Let's assume the problems of recharging can be solved.

But where is the electricity coming from to charge all the batteries.

Few countries seem to be taking a strategic view of their power generation … even those with ambitious targets for their rollout of electric vehicles.

It is government’s role to set the strategy AND create the infrastructure.  Future productivity and prosperity depend on it.  

A vision of a a carbon neutral economy is no good without the means of creating, and maintaining it.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Has Homeworking Been a Success?

There have been many reports that the pandemic has proven the effectiveness and  productivity of home working.

However, a lot of these reports were based on surveys of employees who say they feel more productive when working from home.

I can see the advantages for employees of the flexibility that home working brings - the lack of a  commute, the ability to provide childcare, etc. 

However, the lack of real engagement with work colleagues is bound to harm creativity snd innovation - perhaps not in the short term, but in the longer term, the lack of cross pollenisation of ideas turns off the creativity tap.

So, organisations will do OK, and maybe even thrive for a while … but they should be aware that new ideas are less likely to emerge and develop on Zoom.

And, of course, just because employees feel productive, it doesn’t mean they are.

We need structured research involving proper productivity measures before we can confirm productivity gains or losses from home rolling.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

The Two-Minute Rule

 One useful principle to remember when dealing with incoming mail is to to try and handle everything only once.  Pick something up and deal with it so it needs no further action.  It is so obvious but all too often people sort incoming mail into different piles - according to category or priority.  Each one then has to be looked at again, even though the action needed might be both simple and short.

The 2 minute rule is broadly similar. If you have a short amount of time available in your day, select a task that can be accomplished within that time period. This also avoids the multi-tasking productivity penalty whereby a continual switching of focus between tasks means you get distracted, confused, tired and unproductive.

So don’t attempt to bite off a little bit of a large task; eat a whole one in your available 2 minutes (or whatever time is available).

You will feel a greater sense of accomplishment; and you will be more productive.