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

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Author's posts

Economists’ information gap

Robert Samuelson, an economic journalist writing in the Washington Post, says: “Many economists often don’t know what’s going on” How refreshing to read this breeze of commonsense after being buffeted by gales of expert opinion and advice from the government and its agencies, economic think-tanks or the media The following is a precis of his …

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20s to be greatest decade in history

According to Ian King, banyanhill.com, we were promised flying cars by now but got Facebook – not to mention Google, Twitter and Skype He admits Facebook has its uses but the utopian future expected has yet to arrive – all these new technologies have not yet led to widespread prosperity In 1930, John Maynard Keynes …

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GDP – Flaws

At present, GDP is universally taken to be shorthand for national well-being Richard Tomkin, assistant director of the ONS – Office for National Statistics – says: “GDP is used as an all-encompassing proxy for people’s living standards although never designed for this and it doesn’t fully capture”  However, it was the late Robert Kennedy who said: …

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Current NHS productivity measurement

The University of York’s Centre for Health Economics confidently announced that, despite the government making drastic cuts: “Hard working NHS staff are providing 16.5% more care per £ than they did 10 years before whilst national productivity has only grown by 6.7% over the same period In particular, they claim that: NHS outputs have continuously …

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Maybe everything is preordained?

According to ‘The Science of Fate’ by Cambridge scientist Hannah Critchlow, your future may be more predictable than you think Everything about you is fated, from your love or hate of garlic, your academic success, your expanding waistline or the cancer that will eventually kill you Everything is determined by your genes and environment If …

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