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. UK – a hub with no spokes — July 19, 2018
  2. NHS must suppress demand and cut waste — July 16, 2018
  3. Sheffield’s answer to the puzzle — July 7, 2018
  4. Labour has a terrible productivity idea — June 28, 2018
  5. UK SMEs waste £57 bn a year — June 21, 2018

Most commented posts

  1. Energy unlimited — 2 comments
  2. Future lives of leisure, not work? — 1 comment
  3. Great performers use CI — 1 comment
  4. Mongrel, not pedigree, leaders needed now — 1 comment
  5. The shape of things to come — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Jun 18

SMEs – Your nation needs you

Help SMEs get practical about solving the productivity puzzle Under the above heading, Alison Rose, chief executive of commercial & private banking at NatWest wrote the following article which all SMEs would do well to consider Businesses don’t run on theory – they are focused on the inherently practical (source: Getty) As we gear up …

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Jun 18

Communism versus Capitalism

Communism has been defined as a system where: People work according to their ability and receive according to their needs All big decisions are made at the centre All data is processed at the centre Capitalism, on the other hand, is an alternative where: People are free to buy/ sell/ invest in whatever they like They …

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Jun 10

Competition drives innovation

An unforgettable lesson on the need to avoid protectionism, told by Joe Atikian in the Globe and Mail, USA Competition in an advanced economy leads to more science, more advanced engineering and better products. That lesson should have been fully ingrained in the 1950s, when Russia beat the United States into space and permanently retained the …

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Jun 10

‘Silver Army’ advances

Excerpts follow from an article about the advancing ‘Silver Army’ by Gary Rotstein in the Pittsburgh post-gazette: The future of older workers During a recent three-day presentation at Columbia University, a succession of speakers from academia and the business and health fields focused on the potential productivity of older workers who can help the economy and …

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Jun 05

Red-tape stifles productivity

Interesting views appeared in the Daily Telegraph the other day from Sir John Timpson, chairman of the high-street services provider, Timpson. He was asked what he thought the main issues were when it comes to the UK’s productivity problem – his reply is presented below, en toto We’re a nation of pessimists, beating ourselves up about a …

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