Dick Smythe

Author's posts

Elephants in the productivity room

The great financial journalist Martin Wolf of the FT recently opined about the current state of UK productivity – disappointingly, his words offered no new insights and were simply a regurgitation of current groupthink. He kicked off with the now well-worn cliche from Paul Krugman about productivity being ‘almost everything’ – and then trotted out a …

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MIRACLE reasons for productivity puzzle

The US is worried about the puzzle of their flat output/ GDP and productivity growth following the 2008 financial crisis, yet employment has risen Likewise the UK and other G7 nations They had all expected growth to ‘revert to trend’ by now and be at least 2% per annum, not approach zero as seems to …

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Five steps for big improvements

AT ORGANISATION LEVEL There are various acronyms on offer for how to go about improvement projects viz: PDCA from TQM DMAIC from Six Sigma SREDIM from Work Study   All boil down to much the same process Managers, whatever their level and team size, need to take just five basic steps to make big productivity improvements …

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Why do national productivity gaps persist?

Philip Hammond, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, says: “It takes a German worker four days to produce what a UK worker makes in five” Others say much the same about French workers But such claims are not new, they’ve been made over the last 30 years at least The ONS data on which such claims …

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Low Australia productivity affects all, not just a few

New Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, says boosting productivity is essential if Australia is to maintain the living standards it has enjoyed in recent years He warns: “Australia’s remarkable boom times are over and the best way to maintain our standard of living is to have a laser-like focus on productivity”. In his first appearance before …

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