Saturday, 15 September 2018

I read a piece the other day on the use of productivity measures for academic staff. The measures were all about output quantity (presumably with the proviso that papers wouldn’t be published if they didn’t meet quality criteria). However what matters is not quantity of output or quality of output but the impact of that output - how is thinking or practice changed as a result. 

This is difficult to measure as truly innovative and original ideas could take years to achieve their full impact. But attempting to judge it - even subjectively - might be a better measure than simply counting it. 

The same is true in your business. If you measure the wrong things, you get the wromg behsviours from your employees.

Productivity measures can be quite difficult to establish in certain contexts but we should be as creative with our measures as we are with our productivity improvements. 

Saturday, 8 September 2018

An intelligent future?

Artificial Intelligence is said to be set to revolutionise many sectors. Is this a force for productivity gains or just a threat to jobs?

Well, as the Australian Productivity Commission said recently, technology has over time created many more jobs than it has replaced.  But like Moore’s law, most technology trends eventually come to a juddering halt. So, AI might destroy more jobs than it creates.

If so, we will need to change how we distribute and share wealth - the fruits of productivity. Wealth inequality has been growing over the last 20 years. We have seen very few experiments in halting, or even slowing, it.

Yet, unless we find a way of ensuring that the many without work share the gains made by the few in work, society seems doomed.

Of course I could be wrong. (I often am.) AI might create a range if jobs that we haven’t even thought about yet ... and we will continue our march of inequality to ....???


You probably don't care - your business might never see AI in your lifetime. But some issues are greater than your business.  We are in this problem together. We need to think through a solution - and we need your help.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Turn back thre clock

Modern workplaces seem antagonistic to efficient working and productivity.  They are noisy, stressful, full of constant chatter. constant interruptions from telephones, streams of emails and so on.

Perhaps its time to turn the clock back.  Get rid of some of the technology. Start to think about the workers, not the kit. We know that productivity is all about people - let's show them we believe that by thinking about their needs. 

Give your staff  the time and space they need to be productive and creative.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

From the start

Most of us try to organise our working day to maximise performance and efficiency. Yet for many of us that day can be ruined before it really starts. 

If we rise and start worrying about what we should wear (which tie?) and then have a stressful commute, we have drained some of our precious potential energy.

So start your working day the night before. Plan your wardrobe, plan your commute (including the distractions from the stress - your music, podcast or reading material). 

Smile at your fellow commuters ... you will get smiles back and feel better.

Arrive at work ready to go and hit the ground running by attacking an agenda you established before you left yesterday.

A good start is so important.  (And a good finish, of course!)


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Rule number 7

If you want the real secret to productivity development, it is ...

Well, the most important factor is to always, always remember rule number 7 - train and develop your staff, and treat them well.  They really are your most important resource - the source of your innovation, your improvement, your quality.

What about rules 1 to 6, I hear you ask.   They don't exist - but the one true rule is so important it needs a number like 7 ... and I guarantee you are more likely to remember it because it is rule number 7.

So, start practising it, today. remember it, use it. You know it makes sense!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Backup

We all know he importance of backing up the work we do on computer - even if we don't always practise what we know we should.

We also know we should have some form of backup service for the primary services and technologies we use - this can be expensive however, to maintain services we will hopefully never use.

Like all 'insurance' you have to weigh the risks with the costs and take rational decisions. What you must not do is to pretend the problem /issue does not exist and fail to plan.

If you have staff waiting around because core systems are not working, it can be very expensive.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Work on the right agenda

When giving talks to people about productivity, I often express my amazement - and my worry - that governments spend a lot of time working on the wrong things.

For example, in the UK at the current time, Brexit has been dominating the time of Parliament  and the Cabinet.

Brexit is important- but it doesn't solve any of the UK's underlying productivity problems.

Government needs to do what we all have to do - sort out the urgent from the important - and make sure longer-term planning is not forgotten for the sake of short-term expediency.
EvanCarmichael.com