Author's details

Date registered: February 28, 2017


Dick Smythe was educated at Bolton School, graduated in pure mathematics and statistics at St Andrews University and then took a masters in Operations Research at Birmingham University

• He became a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, Operational Research Society, Institute of Management Services and the Institute of Physical Distribution Management

• His career started with a scholarship from Dorman Long Steel on Teesside, working shifts on blast furnaces and steel mills before graduating and, afterwards, in their OR department – he subsequently moved to London to join the world-famous BISRA OR department, then part of British Steel, and was involved in their corporate planning and cost reduction programmes

• During these earlier years, he became an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve, serving on their coastal minesweepers, and a wing forward for Rosslyn Park RFC (n’th XV), playing mostly for their famed après-rugby

• He was then recruited by Europe’s leading consultancy of the day, PA Consulting Group, and went on to set up and grow their Productivity Services Division into a significant part of the business, becoming a PA director and sitting on their UK management consultancy board – whilst there, he led a joint study with the CBI into UK productivity, and presented the results on TV, radio and to the national press with Director General Sir John Banham – The Times leader commented: “It is refreshing to come across something that has its feet firmly planted on the ground”

• Since then, he has mixed productivity consultancy work with playing the property and stock markets, skippering his own boat in the Fastnet and many other ocean yacht races and keeping his golf handicap down to single figures

• He is happily married, has two sons and two grandchildren to date, and lives either by the Solent or at Marble Arch in London

Latest posts

  1. A. How does Germany beat UK at productivity? — November 28, 2017
  2. A. Knowledge ladders — November 20, 2017
  3. A. Employee engagement drives productivity? — November 20, 2017
  4. B. AI to spark a new productivity boom? — November 19, 2017
  5. B. Lifestyle changes are on the move — November 18, 2017

Most commented posts

  1. C. Regional development needed — 1 comment
  2. A. Mongrel, not pedigree, leaders needed now — 1 comment
  3. B. Unconventional meetings — 1 comment
  4. C. Future lives of leisure, not work? — 1 comment
  5. C. Likely impacts of automation? — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Nov 28

A. How does Germany beat UK at productivity?

Unite, a UK trade union, commissioned a study to establish ‘the most significant reasons for Germany’s high productivity rate’ when compared to the UK The results were: Reason 1 – Skills: Germany has a highly skilled workforce, which their government has invested a lot in: More than 80% have received formal vocational training or possess …

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Nov 20

A. Knowledge ladders

All animals, humans included, are born with a brain within which resides an instinctive control system, ticking away 24/ 7 much like a Microsoft operating system This subconscious system controls most of what we need to survive and protect ourselves, procreate, feel pain and pleasure It also stores knowledge acquired by learning by rote and practice …

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Nov 20

A. Employee engagement drives productivity?

Employee engagement is nowadays seen as essential if an organisation is to perform well Gallup report that business units in the top quartile of employee engagement outperform bottom units with 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability – all big performance differences MGI – McKinsey Global Institute – report that productivity increases by …

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Nov 19

B. AI to spark a new productivity boom?

A new productivity boom could be sparked by AI – Artificial Intelligence? Who says so? No less than two UK government ministers Culture Secretary Karen Bradley says: “AI has the potential to improve our every day lives” – precisely what productivity improvement is all about And Business Secretary Greg Clark claims: “Huge social and economic benefits …

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Nov 18

B. Lifestyle changes are on the move

The UK’s CEBR – Centre for Economic and Business Research – claim an important change in preferences towards work is now on the move Many people are choosing jobs which offer less pay but more attractive lifestyles or ways to help others This change in attitude is already ‘a key element in around a third …

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Nov 07

C. Financial data can be ‘dangerously misleading’

  Transcript of a second broadcast where the UK’s Ed Smythe is interviewed by the USA’s Real News Network _______________________________________________________________________________________ GREGORY WILPERT: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Gregory Wilpert, joining you from Quito, Ecuador. The Bank of England has raised interest rates in the UK for the first time in a decade. The …

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Nov 07

C. UK economy depends on private debt!

N.B. This is a transcript of a broadcasted conversation between the USA’s ‘Real News Network’ and the UK’s Ed Smythe ____________________________________________________________________________________ G. Wilpert: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Gregory Wilpert joining you from Quito, Ecuador. UK households are spending more than their income at an unprecedented rate. Record-busting levels of privately held debt …

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Nov 07

A. Scanning the productivity horizon

First, productivity improvement transformed the agriculture sector providing millions more people with more and better quality of food and drink at more affordable prices Then it was manufacturing’s turn, providing more and better clothes and shoes, white goods and cookers, bikes, cars or planes – all making lives easier and getting from A to B …

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Nov 02

A. Great performers use CI

There’s a direct read-across between how the best in business emulate the best in sport In an article in The Times, Matthew Syed asks ‘What separates greats from wasted talents?’: “Great athletes are hyper-confident – they don’t believe they have any weaknesses – they cannot be beaten – they’re already perfect and so cannot continually improve” …

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Oct 30

C. The shape of things to come

What if Professor Robert Gordon was right and innovation has peaked? That would mean no more alternative sectors to employ, even mop up, labour that finds itself surplus to requirements so they end up being low-paid domestic servants (also under threat from robotics), people carers or artists, say Or they indulge in what Adair Turner, …

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