Saturday, 27 October 2012


Too often, managers assess worker performance - especially in knowledge jobs - on how long they work ... not on what they achieve.

Of course workers react to such measurement schemes and will extend their hours ... taking longer than necessary to complete work if that is what it takes to fill the hours expected of them.

So make sure you measure what your staff do - and achieve - rather than how long they are 'present'.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Join the Dots

I went to a presentation recently on Israel's approach to innovation ... and to Research & Development in particular.

What struck me was the 'joining of the dots' ... the fact that Israel seems to have broken down the silo mentality of government to coordinate activity across a range of departments.  They have done this by appointing a 'Chief Scientist' who has authority and responsibility .. and who can work across these departments.

Other countries have campaigns, policies and strategies ... but few of them seem to have thought the issues through to the point where they can deliver on the vision.

This is not a plea to copy israel's approach to R&D ... but - whatever the issue - to think through issues, the structures needed for implementation and the need for a 'leader' to give focus and to drive through the good intentions.

Next time you are addressing a problem, try to ensure you have joined all the dots!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Take longer

Do you find the incessant buzzing of your smartphone is stopping you thinking ... as you simple react to the latest incoming email. This seems to be the view of many.  The 'always-on' connectivity we now enjoy is reducing our span of attention and span of concentration.  We multi-task ... and are now capable of doing many things quickly - but perhaps badly.

Try putting your phone aside for a few hours a day ... and taking longer on single tasks - using the extra concentration time to perform them better.  See what the results look lie after a few days or a week ... and then plan how you intend to use your smartphone in the future.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Who is right?

The Guardian (UK) this week raised the question of how the UK has managed to create jobs whilst GDP is falling.

It suggests that the answer must be that the productivity of the workforce is falling ... so we need more of them.

However, employment figures often lead or lag on economic performance.

An equally valid reason is that firms have confidence in the future and are hiring now to create future output.

Only time will tell which explanation is right.

The lesson, though, is not to accept the first explanation you are given - even though it may be plausible.