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

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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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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Continuous Improvement is a must for all

In an article written by Dr John Neill for The New European he considered ways to end austerity initiatives without bankrupting the country and ‘put the UK back on the right road’ He kicked off quoting the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England arguing that if the British economy could achieve the same performance …

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Why chase productivity improvement?

1. Productivity improvement (PI) at national level has the following aims: To improve the standard of living (SoL) of all in the land, mostly by producing more and better material goods and services at more affordable prices whilst using fewer limited and so costly resources To increase the number, quality and rewards of jobs for …

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Future lives of leisure, not work?

Technological advances mean that many workers will lose their jobs to automation – but billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates say increasing the potential output of every human being is always a good thing Buffett says: “The idea that more output per capita should be harmful to society is crazy: If one person could push …

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