Saturday, 30 March 2013

As soon as I finish reading this...

I am a sucker for those articles and posts that purport to tell me how the iPad (or some other device) can improve my productivity.

I've worked with technology long enough to know that it is the systems, processes and procedures you adopt (and their inherent efficiency) that govern productivity, rather than the technology itself... but, like millions of others, I can't resist the thought of the 'silver bullet' that can transform productivity.

Oh well, bak to the measurement, analysis, hard thinking and new ideas that are usually needed ... as soon as I've finished this piece about some new software.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

I am in India looking at the employment skills of graduates ... which are almost non-existent. They are very bright and they know lots of stuff but they have few practical skills ... they do not know what working in an organisation is like, how to prioritise and schedule tasks, how to cope with multiple deadlines,etc,

This is not just true of Indians.

So when you are recruiting staff make sure you pay attention to what candidates can DO, as well s what they know.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Young Turks

I have been in Turkey with a group of Turkish (mainly industrial engineering) students. They were smart, confident, talented, confident.  Are your staff like this?  If not, is it because of the way you train or treat them?

Saturday, 9 March 2013


I have been doing some work in India recently and have been talking to employers about the process of employing recent graduates and post-graduates. What came across loud and clear and often were comments that such graduates are not 'work-ready' because they lack the knowledge and skills to become an effective member of an organisation on day1.   I am sure many of you will echo that view.

Graduates knows (lots of) stuff ... but they cannot do stuff.

This led me - in my day job with the institute of Productivity - to produce our latest book - Productivity and Employability skills - which helps develop some of the key organisation-related skills, but does so in the context of parallel and complimentary porductivity improvement skills. Our belief is that we can help graduates 'hit the ground running' when they enter the world of work.

Because we are developing skills, the book is backed up by materials and exercises on our website where that can develop skills and receive feedback.

Go to the IoP Academy (at for details of the book.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Look hard and often!

I was reading something the other day which reminded me of the number of keyboard shortcuts available within some software packages.  If you take the time to learn these, they can shave seconds off simple tasks - improving your performance and productivity.  Yet each individual time you use one, the benefit is tiny.

Performance improvements in any process are like this.  Each one may be very small ... but a number of small improvements can make a substantial gain overall.

So always look for the simple, small gains ... but look hard and look often. They may offer you a massive gain over the next year.