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

Most commented posts

  1. Energy is unlimited — 2 comments
  2. Great performers use CI — 1 comment
  3. The bullsh**t job phenomenon — 1 comment
  4. Mongrel, not pedigree, leaders needed now — 1 comment
  5. Future lives of leisure, not work? — 1 comment

Author's posts

Zipf’s Law

Zipf’s law is a mysterious, empirical law – it’s also linked to Pareto’s rule: It suggests limits on the size of companies and their share of markets According to Annalee Newitz, the editor of i09, in 1949 linguist George Zipf noticed that people used a very small number of words most of the time – …

Continue reading

Wealth gains and distribution

US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell believes our two greatest challenges for the next decade are ‘the widening wealth gap and sluggish productivity’ But Lawrence Fuller, in an article for Seeking Alpha, claims the Fed’s attempts to create a wealth effect by inflating the value of financial assets has mostly benefited the top 10%, and even …

Continue reading

4 day weeks to boost productivity

A new report by Autonomy – a thinktank focusing on the future of work – argues that a shorter working week should be a central pillar of our economic future. They say calls for a shorter working week have gathered pace in recent years, with the TUC, the Green party, large and small unions and now the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, joining …

Continue reading

Productivity tops Brexit

An article by Peter Barker, Gui Tao and Xinhua – www.xinhuanet.com Improving productivity, instead of the Brexit issue, is the primary task facing the British economy at the moment, says renowned British economist Jim O’Neill “The UK being in or out of the EU (European Union) is not the most important thing facing our economic …

Continue reading

Clusters need roads

An article by Maria Machancoses,  a director at Midlands Connectvestment, is fully reproduced below For centuries, good roads have influenced the way we live, work and trade As a nation that makes over 80% of journeys by road, and whose population is forecast to grow to 75m by 2050, investing in our ageing infrastructure is rightly at the top of the agenda. Rather than …

Continue reading