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. Human targets are best — August 19, 2017
  2. The PLG plugs a big gap? — August 18, 2017
  3. Why labour productivity alone? — August 14, 2017
  4. Happiness — August 8, 2017
  5. The Productivity Puzzle – MGI take a closer look — August 6, 2017

Author's posts listings

Aug 19

Human targets are best

In his book ‘Happiness’, Richard Layard points out that: ” People care most about their income relative to that of other people” i.e. more than the total itself He says most people would even be willing to accept a significant fall in their living standards as long as they could move up compared with other …

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Aug 18

The PLG plugs a big gap?

Whilst investment, innovation, competition and luck all play a significant part in the performance of any organisation, public as well as private, it is its management that has the most influence The same applies at national level with government ministers And if managers and ministers, whatever their level, are to do their jobs well they …

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Aug 14

Why labour productivity alone?

Why do we measure just labour productivity when it’s the productivity of all costly resources used together that matters most: Because we always have done – it was relatively easy to count in the old manufacturing days? Because we still can? Because we can’t measure the productivity of capital and other inputs in an equivalent, …

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Aug 08

Happiness

Undoubtedly, productivity growth has made a huge difference to the quality of lives of billions of people, first by reducing work negatives – tasks that are dull, dirty, dangerous or difficult – and then increasing work positives by adding many more jobs which are interesting and fulfilling whilst also enhancing social lives with greatly improved …

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Aug 06

The Productivity Puzzle – MGI take a closer look

McKinsey & Co, in particular the MGI (McKinsey Global Institute), opened their recent ‘discussion paper’ on the productivity puzzle afflicting the USA (and other developed economies) by stating: “Now, as low birth rates slow the expansion of the labour force, increasing productivity, the output we get from every hour worked, is more crucial than ever …

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Jul 31

Old measures hide new productivity?

Nowadays, the constant media refrain is: “G7 productivity growth has slowed right down – living standards will fall – inequality will rise – it’s a puzzle why” Some experts say we couldn’t keep on growing at 2% plus per annum – we’re in an era of ‘secular stagnation’ according to Larry Summers, Harvard economics professor …

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Jul 27

Inequality fulcrum keeps moving

The proportion of rich to relatively poor keeps changing as more and more of any nation’s people benefit from the huge productivity gains made since the Agricultural and then Industrial Revolutions which started in the 1700s Clearly, most of the poor in most developed G20 nations are a lot better off than their counterparts in …

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Jul 17

Despair knocks productivity

Janet Yellen, Chair of the US Federal Reserve, considers President Donald Trump’s  growth target of 3% per annum over the next five years to be “quite challenging” At present, the rate slumbers at a mere 0.5%, having been around 2% over the past decade She holds that a major factor holding down productivity growth is …

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Jul 17

Productivity sure aint ‘dull’

The following is a letter sent to the Sunday Times on 17 July, 2017 following an article by Andrew Marr, mostly about UK political shenanigans Productivity has transformed the lives of most people in the UK What were luxuries for a select few a mere 100 years ago, if they even existed, are now considered essentials …

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Jul 13

AI becoming mainstream in Retail

Expert systems to aid human and plant maintenance and clever OR (Operations Research) computer models (aka apps) to find optimum solutions to complex business problems have been around for over 50 years now AI (Artificial Intelligence) is just the latest moniker for much the same, albeit more powerful Retail Week recently published an article about …

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