Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Lost Decade

UK productivity in the first quarter of 2017 was the same as it was in 2010.  This  after relentless if sometimes slow growth over many years.So, not only have we not had the bounce i refereed to last week; we seem to have had a capsize and a sinking.

Successive governments seem to be powerless to do anything about the problem but at leat this current government seem to have recognised the problem - and have set up a new UK Productivity Council to try to do something about it.

Making up for10 years lost growth is probably impossible - but at least we could get growth moving again.

If government can't get things moving, its up to you in the private sector to take charge and build momentum from lots of little improvemente.

Together, we owe it to the next generation to give them some momentum to build on.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

No Bounce!

The Office for National Statistics says that, had productivity in the UK returned to its pre-recession trend, it would be 20% higher than its current level. Britain would be one fifth better off.

The normal pattern is that after a recession, productivity bounces back and we recover (at least most of) what we lost.

However, we have had no bounce since the great financial crisis.

It ts not just the UK - the pattern is remarkably similar around the globe.

The time to wait for the bounce has gone - the UK needs action to recover.

Let's hope the new Productivity Council can pull the trigger.

And, for your business, its up to you.  You have to find and pull your own trigger.... find your own bounce.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Canada's labour productivity rose 1.4% in Q1 2017.

This is not a spectacular result but a solid performance.

Sometimes, slow and steady progress is preferable to high gain, fall-back performance.  (Think 'tortoise and hare'.)

This is exactly why continuous improvement programmes, resulting in a number of evolutionary performance gains, often beat the occasional revolutionary improvement brought about by say, a technology change.

Ideally, of course, you want both - but waiting for the revolution is a bad strategy.  You  need to keep the pressure on your organisation to make the many, small improvements.

Take Canada as your role model!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Should you think or work?

We have been told a few times that what creates success is sheer hard work... the perspiration not the inspiration, and the 10,000 hours.  But many great men (and women) have achieved their greatness by original thought  by avoiding the 10,000 (wasted)  hours.

it seems that both routes might take you to success - and it perhaps depends on the kind of person you are as to what is right for you.

But what about a company.  They can't 'plod on' for 10,000 hours and expect an insight - or the achievement of some kind of superskill.

So, whoever runs the company has to have the insight - about a new product, a changed process, a new way of doing business - to transform the business.

If you are not thinking about how to transform and revolutionise your business -  wha are you doing?  How are you earning your keep?

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!
EvanCarmichael.com