Saturday, 16 February 2019

Saying one thing, doing another

Politicians often bemoan the UK's poor productivity.  Yet, at the same time, over the last decade they seem to have systematically destroyed much of the further education sector with a policy of 'a thousand cuts'.  The same is true of 6th form education. 

There is quite a bit of evidence to show that a well- educated, properly-trained workforce is one of the principal keys to higher productivity.

So., the politicians are the probable cause of the UK's declining productivity ... and are unlikely to be the saviours.... especially since the whole of UK politics is being sucked into the Brexit maelstrom.

So often what politicians say is undermined by what they do! 

You have to pick your way through the debris - and make sure your workforce is properly prepared for the work you expect of them.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Do you need to move on ?

We expect modern managers to be numerate and analytical. We educate and train them to be so.

Yet when we look at entrepreneurs we see something else.  We see creativity and passion. 

Which of these are the best qualities to have?

Of course, I have given you a false dilemma. The answer is that really successful business leaders have both analytical and creative skills: they also have passion. They care about what they do; they care deeply about what they achieve. They will make errors and misjudgements but their inner belief, their passion will drive them on to rectify their mistakes, to improve their judgement and their results.

Think about what you do. If you don't care about what you do, you are unlikely to succeed. If you don't have a real passion for your product or service - and your company....then move on ...and find that passion elsewhere.



Saturday, 2 February 2019

Productive education and training?

I read a comment the other day suggesting that increased private  investment in (private) education would improve its productivity.

I think this is debatable.

As in many other areas, it depends on how you define and measure productivity. We all know that productivity is quite different than production or output: fundamentally it involves the incorporation of resources consumed ... mirroring the judgement we all face daily on assessing 'value' for goods and services we consume.

More investment would certainly raise the numbers of students coming out of private education .... but, as we have just said, that is not a measure of productivity..... nor, importantly, of that very elusive factor 'quality'.  

Take India as an example. Lots of private colleges and universities output thousands of students each year. Yet, there is some doubt about whether many of them are fit for the workplace. They know lots of stuff ... but they can't do very much. Their employability skills are lacking.

Even in admittedly strong areas like engineering, India's education is limited. Their engineering graduates are excellent at solving 'standard' engineering problems .., but when faced with a problem that requires ingenuity and innovation, they lack the problem-solving and creativity skills to take the next step.

So, let's define what we mean by 'productivity' in relation to education, let's determine our aims, objectives and aspirations ... and then try to assess whether more investment from the private sector can help us deliver.

It possibly can .... but if we don't know what we want to happen, we can't bring it about.

The same is true of training in your organisation. Make sure you know why you are training your staff, what skills you need them to acquire - both 'hard', technical skills and 'softer', interpersonal and communication skills - and then find ways of developing your staff effectively and efficiently - maximising their skill development whilst minimising disruption to your operations.  Then you can start to talk about the productivity of training - make the training process more efficient but, more importantly, let it underpin productivity development for the organisation. 


EvanCarmichael.com