Saturday, 29 April 2017

How will Trump's Tax Turnoff Affect your Productivity?

Donald Trump is hailing his tax cutting plans as 'radical' and likely to stimulate US growth.How will they affect US productivity?

Well, the way in which productivity responds to trade measures is not clear ... but if you and other entrepreneurs are paying less tax, you may spend more on capital infrastructure or on R&D - and both of those are generally beneficial to productivity.  However, they take time to show up in the figures - so don't expect short term productivity gains.  And with long-term investments, often something else (some short term effect or expediency) often intervenes.

So, as ever, we wait and see.  We hope.  And if it all works our, we might have to hail Trump as a visionary.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Encourage your staff to be lazy

Is laziness helpful in making people more productive? does it encourage them to seek less arduous ways of achieving the same output?

Well, certainly the opposite is not true  Busyness is not a sign of high productivity. Too many people are busy but essentially unproductive - because they are either doing the wrong things or doing them in the wrong way.

Think about people like maintenance engineers - ideally we want them either doing nothing or carrying out planned maintenance - we do not want them working on breakdowns and emergencies.

So, perhaps we should encourage people to create more 'idle time' as a reward for improving how they carry out their own tasks.n

Perhaps having your staff sitting around talking is the best sign that they are thinking about their work and the contribution they are making.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Does the IMF matter to you?

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has issued a stark warning that living standards will fall around the world unless governments take urgent action to increase productivity by investing in education, cutting red tape and incentivising research and development.
 Whether or not, you agree that her prescription is what is needed to improve productivity - or is complete, it is good that someone so influential is spreading the message about the need for productivity development. 
I actually think she has got it mostly right - I would add infrastructure development, and would add training to education ... but her summary is pretty effective.
Now, how does this apply to you and your business. Well, of course, you need your government to create favourable business conditions - to create the potential for high productivity which you can exploit. 
And, i hope, as a concerned, informed citizen, you want other governments to do the same and help create a better, more productive world. 

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Key points

I have just returned from the World Productivity Congress in Bahrain -an interesting and useful even†. The programme was too rich and varied to be easily summarised but key points were:

  1. productivity is fostered and supported in healthy communities of informed, engaged citizens and workers
  2. innovation, if it is to be comprehensive and effective, needs a supporting innovation ecosystem.
  3. a key determinant of organisational productivity is ensuring that employees have the appropriate skillset.
  4. solutions have to be informed by local history and culture -beware of consultants selling pre-packaged and pre-determined solutions.

These statements sound 'bald' - but to hear the thinking - and the evidence  - behind them made the Congress worthwhile.