Dick-Smythe-10151

Author's details

Date registered: February 28, 2017

Biography

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. LSE finds depression costs billions — October 16, 2017
  2. Productivity Commission (Aus) shows the way — October 15, 2017
  3. Conglomerates’ days are over – Brexit shows the way — October 9, 2017
  4. UK management skills lacking — September 22, 2017
  5. Trade Unions vote for Brexit — September 22, 2017

Most commented posts

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

Author's posts listings

Oct 16

LSE finds depression costs billions

A study by the LSE – London School of Economics – found that depression costs South Africa a massive R232 billion a year – equivalent to around 6% of its GDP This is due to lost productivity caused by absence from work or attending work whilst ill Dr Sebolelo Seape of the Psychiatry Management Group claims …

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Oct 15

Productivity Commission (Aus) shows the way

Peter Harris, chairman of Australia’s Productivity Commission (PC), was interviewed on the airwaves today The purpose of the APC is to deal with problems that the Government finds too hard – too difficult to solve – based on a fact-based analysis And it’s most important that their views are accepted as being independent The process they …

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Oct 09

Conglomerates’ days are over – Brexit shows the way

In the last quarter of the last century, conglomerates were all the rage – the bigger the organisation, the better – CEO Owen Green built BTR – British Tyre and Rubber – into a huge business covering engineering, packaging, materials, building products and polymers He then merged with Dunlop, Sumitomo rubber industries, Hawker Siddeley aircraft production, Nylex industrial …

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Sep 22

UK management skills lacking

Alexandra Frean, a business columnist of The Times, claims: “the most accessible solution to Britain’s low-productivity problem is the presence in virtually every workplace of accidental managers” i.e. people who are promoted to positions quite different to past jobs where they did well She says they cannot be thrown in at the deep end – …

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Sep 22

Trade Unions vote for Brexit

Some Trade Unions are beginning to realise the benefit of being free of the constraints placed upon the UK by the EU For example, the recent takeover of Opel/ Vauxhall by the French company PSA once would have been judged ‘a disaster’ because of expected closures and job losses: Now, the local Labour MP, Kelvin …

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Sep 18

Likely impacts of automation?

Doomsayers forecast that robots will fully automate and so steal all our jobs – others say ‘bring them on – the sooner the better’ A report for the World Economic Forum estimates that technology will create about two million jobs worldwide by 2020 – but displace seven million This is worrying enough for the educated …

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Sep 17

Core human needs at work

Much has already been said about hierarchies of human needs which need to be met if workers are to be motivated However, a recent study of 12,000 white collar workers by Tony Schwartz, CEO of ‘The Energy Project’ and Professor Christine Porath of Georgetown University is well worth noting They claim that employees have four …

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Sep 16

AI will transform the future

In the early 19th century, most of the world’s population was employed on manual, back-breaking agricultural work – then automation increased the productivity of farmers more than tenfold whilst reducing their numbers from being the majority of the workforce to less than 2% – and the many outplaced moved on to new, better-paid jobs in …

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Sep 15

The coming productivity boom

Why is the American economy not as productive as it used to be? Why is US GDP growth below 2% per annum, well short of the 3.5% it averaged before the Great Recession of 2008? Bret Swanson, President of Entropy Economics, and Michael Mandel, an economist, believe ‘the long productivity drought is almost over, as …

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Sep 14

Robots to transform education

An article in The Times reported that Anthony Seldon, former headmaster of Wellington College, UK, believes: “The imminent arrival of robot teachers will herald the greatest revolution in education” “Personalised learning, facilitated by artificial intelligence, will mean that every student from Eton to the most deprived school in Blackpool, will receive education of a standard …

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