Monday, 23 December 2013

New Year, New ..?

Christmas has gone. We now turn to celebrating the coming of a new year.  This is traditionally the time to make resolutions to affirm values, to set out our new path.

We can, of course, do this at both the personal and the organisational level.

So, take a little time to think through how your work will change this year.  What will you do that is different and/or how will you approach it differently.

Think about others who are affected by what you do - especially your employees - and how you can improve their lot.  Doing 'a good turn' almost always pays dividends. Grow the capacity of your employees and you grow your business.

In productivity terms think through the implications of what you do and how you do it to make it more effective, more efficient and more sustainable.  This is not just good at new year; it is good business practice at any time.

Make 2014 the year you think afresh!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas is coming (sounds like the cue for a song!)

Whether or not you are Christian, I am sure you can appreciate the overall Christmas message of 'peace and goodwill'.

It is, however, a little bizarre that we wrap this message up within the biggest commercial period of the year when material presents seem to count for more than good thoughts.

It should do us good to remember that we are part of a 'big society' that extends across and around the globe.  However we can only act where we have both knowledge and influence.

So, think how you can turn the Christmas message into action within your company and the communities it touches. You'll feel better for it!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

recruitment problems

Do you have problems recruiting employees of the right calibre?

I have seen reports recently that relate to the literacy levels of young people in some of the most developed nations. .. like the UK and Australia.  These reports suggests that these countries are moving in the the wrong direction in international league tables.

Remember we are talking about 'developed' nations with a long history of compulsory schooling.

The problem (it seems to me) is that education has become a 'political football', used for 'social engineering' purposes.  Certainly in the UK, we have tried to create an educational system in which no-one can fail ... and all are 'successful'.

To do this we have 'equalised' to the lowest common denominator.  So, instead of giving every student the education they need to stretch themselves to the best THEY can be, we give everyone a relatively unsophisticated and certainly non-stretching education with assessments they have a very good chance of 'excelling' at.

We are now reaping the results of this policy - finding that recruits to the workforce do not have basic numeracy and literacy levels.  Some of these people are very smart - just not well-educated.

And these things take a long time to turn round.  Who is going to create the high-skilled workforce needed to secure my well-being through old age?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

I'm in Mauritius - working!

This is a beautiful place, of course.  But when we look at such island paradises, we sometimes forget they too have to build an economy to look after their citizens.  Of course, tourism is a major focus of economic activity but it isn't enough.  They need other sectors to be productive and contribute to the economy.  This means they also need the infrastructure and support services that other nations have to ensure high productivity.

They also need the entrepreneurial spirit that builds new businesses and makes them grow.

Mauritius has to build the infrastructure and the climate in which small businesses can start and prosper.  the government - and support agencies - have to get the right balance between support - and freedom ... minimising regulation, bureaucracy and 'interference' while offering positive support.

I am  trying to help Mauritius build this shared vision of a highly productive, highly entrepreneurial  nation - working with the excellent staff of the National Productivity & Competitiveness Council.  My discussions here on this my second visit give me confidence for the future ... but I know there will be plenty of slips along the way to a brighter future.  It is the vision that will keep the plans on track - and the collective efforts of lots of people who share, and believe in, that vision.

I am hoping that in subsequent visits, I see the seeds we have planted starting to sprout and grow ... and that Mauritius has a future as bright as its sunshine.