Friday, 23 June 2017

You, the evangelist.

I try to keep up to date with productivity trends and productivity news.

In scanning the airwaves and the twittersphere, I often see governments urging their citizens to be more productive.

At least in religions when people are urged to be more 'holy' there are priests and other religious leaders helping prepare them to be more holy - and explaining what being more holy means.

So, who are the productivity priests explaining to these probably confused citizens what they should do - and how they should behave - to be more productive.

In your company, it has to be you.  you must be the evangelist of productivity - and explain it to the laity in terms they undersrand ... and can act upon.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Election promises

In the UK, we have been through a rather exciting General Election - though as I write this, we have the same government and the same Prime Minister.

In their campaigns, all parties made us promises - of what they would do and deliver - better health care, more jobs, lower taxes, etc.

How would they pay for those promises that cost money- by raising taxes or cutting costs elsewhere.  (Oh yeah, that's going to happen!)

But how many of the parties mentioned the only real way of paying for the promises - higher productivity.

You guessed it ... not one of them.

If politicians looking for solutions don't realise that productivity is the answer - what hope is there?

Luckily, you do understand - don't you.  You have to find ways of raising productivity -its the only solution that will create a win-win for you and your staff ... and form the basis of longer-term growth and success.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Exhortation is not enough

Many nations have realised that the only true long-term key to economic growth is productivity improvement.

The problem is that this realisation is often the end, rather than the start, of the matter.  Governments and their agencies exhort commerce - and perhaps even the population - to improve productivity and to compete - but without understanding their role in making this happen.

Exhortation and hectoring are not enough.  Governments need to provide infrastructure, skills, information and advice - in ways that are accessible - just in time, at just the right level - and at the right cost!

Similarly, there is no point you exhorting your workers to higher performance and productivity - without providing the advice, information, skills and tools needed.

Its not rocket science - but it isn't easy either!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Robots on the march?

I've referred to the subject (threat?) of robots several times in the last year.  Clearly they are going to have a big impact on many companies and on many people's jobs   - but exactly how, in what ways ,is not yet clear. For some time humans and robots are likely to be co-workers. Skilled workers will survive the longest.

Views on this subject vary - but sometimes writers seem to be scaremongering rather than making reasoned assumptions and predictions.

As ever, we will have to wait and see.

However, my reading in this area did throw up a word I wish I had coined robopocalypse.  

Choose wisely how you proceed with robots in your business.  Short-term gains are clear .. but longer-term. ... Who knows?

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Global rating agency Moody's Investors Service sees a persistent decline in labour productivity growth, stemming from an ageing population and slow investments, as posing a key threat to global economic recovery.
The agency's report, titled "Collapse of Global Productivity Growth Remains Sizable Risk to Credit Conditions," published last week said global labour productivity growth fell to an average 1.7% in the post global financial crisis years of 2011-2015, compared to an average 2.6% between 1995-2007, Moody's.com reported.
In 2016 alone, labour productivity growth slowed to just 1.2%. Moody's said if productivity growth remains unchanged, global economic growth next year might be as low as 2.5%, significantly lower than previous estimates of 3.5%.
all of this means you are likely to field requests for wage rises to compensate for inflation.  If you can't increase your productivity, this will cost you part of your current earnings.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

How are your robots doing?

The last 2 decades have sen the inexorable rise of the robot - especially in motor manufacture.  We have all sen the robotic arms lifting and fitting panels, spray painting, and so on.  Some workers have presumable been displaced  - but the economic gains have been substantial, surely.

Well ,thisc rise of †he robot has been matched with the lowest productivity growth in recorded times.

Coincidence or causal relationship?

Well, there is some evidence that those displaced workers have had to take low paid, possibly part-time work - not the high skill jobs that were predicted.  And, worse - some could find no alternative work at all - the jobs are in the wrong place!

So, the rise of the robot might be good only for those who make and sell robots.  Or perhaps it simply takes time  for society to adapt to such a massive change.

Think carefully before you make the switch on your factories.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Do you value skills?

In the developing world, education standards have been rising for decades.  More and more of the population go to university and the number of degrees, and even higher degrees, rises relentlessly.

Yet, still employers maintain - as they always have done - that they cannot get employees with the right skills.

Note the word 'skills'.  Employers don't want more knowledge - that is easy to provide via Google - but skills are both expensive to provide -and take a long time to develop.

This means that the 'education' system must become more of an 'education and skills' system and skills must receive parity of esteem with knowledge.

In the UK, the proposed 'T levels' might help - but past initiatives have failed to change the 'esteem' with which skills are held. Teachers are knowledge-based - the wrong people to guide kids through a skills-based curriculum.  Changing this will take perhaps a couple of generations, helped by kids' increasing reluctance to take on the massive loans to fund university attendance.

But, of course, employers like you must play their part - by reducing their reliance on the degree as a 'first sift' of job applicants -and recognising skills where they exist.

EvanCarmichael.com