Category: 04. Drivers

AI, the future of work and inequality

An excellent article follows, by Daniele Tavani, Colorado State University, USA – reprinted in full One of the most spectacular facts of the last two centuries of economic history is the exponential growth in GDP per capita in most of the world. Figure 1 shows the rise (and the difference) in living standards for five countries …

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AI increases productivity

By 2021, artificial intelligence (AI) will allow the rate of innovation of Filipino companies to increase by 1.7 times, and nearly double employee productivity gains in the Philippines, according to a study titled Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI The study made by Microsoft and IDC (International Data Corp.) surveyed 109 …

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New technology needs new models

According to the WEF – World Economic Forum – manufacturing executives today are confronted with an enormous variety of promising new technologies, ranging from artificial intelligence to connected machinery to 3D printing, all of them offering some combination of cost savings, quality improvements and increased flexibility They then say it’s tempting to think that a …

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Gallup’s ‘most profound’ finding

The Wall Street Journal suggested there could be a single fix for many of the big problems that companies experience – hiring better middle managers They based this on a Gallup study that found a company’s productivity depended on the quality of these crucial leaders – managers don’t just influence results, they explain a full …

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Catching the right fish

With globalisation, all organisations can fish for new recruits in the one big pond But the most successful anglers are they who hire on merit, not in their own image, according to Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at Columbia University in his book Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders An article …

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Invest more to raise productivity

An article by John Mills, Chairman of the eponymous JM Ltd, author of economics books and major Labour party donor, claims that UK productivity is ‘so low’ partly because we spend a far lower proportion of our national income (17%) on capital investment (aka capex) than the 26% world average – and woefully less than China’s …

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The skills delusion

Adair Turner, Chairman of INET (Institute for New Economic Thinking) and one-time Chairman of the UK’s FSA (Financial Services Authority) wrote a weighty article a year or so ago on the need for more investment in our human stock We cannot better his choice of words so, below, reproduce much of his article verbatim It …

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AI will automate tasks, not skills

Michael Hicks, Professor of Economics at Ball State University, USA, claims productivity growth, whether through automation, plant design or better-skilled workers, doesn’t kill jobs – it eliminates tasks: First, hard, dirty and dangerous ones – think agriculture and steel-making where output continues to grow in volume but now uses a small fraction of the labour …

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Hire better managers

Vipula Gandhi, a Managing Partner at Gallup, has joined in the productivity debate with a new No Recovery report seeking reasons for the growth of USA GDP per capita (a measure of prosperity) having slowed from highs of 3% in the 1960s to only 0.5% now He argues that: A lack of major technological or …

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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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New technology for improved productivity 

According to an article by Suresh Rangarajan, Head of Communications at Tata Motors, in the past decade we have created several new tools and platforms to transform our business environments to be more efficient, productive and cost-effective. It’s become a tidal wave Today, we hold advanced computing capabilities in our pockets. The smartphone is the …

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Absentee leaders are worst of all

 A surprising insight by Scott Gregory, CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems, was recently published in the prestigious Harvard Business Review – extracts follow A young friend recently remarked that the worst boss he ever had would provide him with feedback that always consisted of “you’re doing a great job” but they both knew it wasn’t true — the …

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Winners and losers with AI and robotics

Artificial intelligence and robotics are disrupting every aspect of work and redefining productivity The old ways of dolng things are undergoing a massive change In a conversation with Knowledge@Wharton, Srikanth Karra, Chief HR Officer at Indian IT services firm Mphasis, discusses what this means for individuals, organisations and countries – in particular, Karra says: Managerial jobs …

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AI pluses versus minuses

Some optimists, like technologist Nick Bostrom, believe AI is: “The last invention the human race will ever need” However, given these are early AI days, fundamental questions still being asked include: How can we make sure robots’ only purpose would be to serve humans and our environment and make human lives better? Should robots make …

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Has innovation really peaked?

US economist Robert Gordon gets a lot of publicity these days for his dismal view that ‘technological innovation is declining in pace and impact compared to those of the 20th century’ – all set out in his book ‘The Rise and Fall of American Growth’ His whole thesis is based on economic growth statistics, GDP …

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AI to spark a new productivity boom?

A new productivity boom could be sparked by AI – Artificial Intelligence? Who says so? No less than two UK government ministers Culture Secretary Karen Bradley says: “AI has the potential to improve our everyday lives” – precisely what productivity improvement is all about And Business Secretary Greg Clark claims: “Huge social and economic benefits AI …

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Business schools are failing the nation

Luke Johnson, a well-known UK businessman and Sunday Times journalist, asks: “What are business schools for?” He believes they are ‘generally failing when it comes to researching the field of business’ Apparently, there are 120 members of the UK’s Chartered Association of Business Schools but none ‘defend the achievements of business’ i.e. the merits of …

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UK management skills lacking

Alexandra Frean, a business columnist of The Times, claims: “The most accessible solution to Britain’s low-productivity problem is the presence in virtually every workplace of accidental managers” i.e. people who are promoted to positions quite different to past jobs where they did well She says they cannot be thrown in at the deep end – …

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AI will transform the future

In the early 19th century, most of the world’s population was employed on manual, back-breaking agricultural work – then automation increased the productivity of farmers more than tenfold whilst reducing their numbers from being the majority of the workforce to less than 2% – and the many outplaced moved on to new, better-paid jobs in …

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Mongrel, not pedigree, leaders needed now

Is there something rotten at the heart of UK (and G7/ EU) leadership quite apart from the lack of good measures and productivity knowhow with which they manage their economies? Indeed, why are their economies apparently so sclerotic these days, especially the UK despite their track record for empire building, starting the Industrial Revolution and …

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Digital investment benefits need time

An interesting article from IoT Agenda explores why digital investment in increasingly capable devices/ things/ solutions are empowering businesses to transform their processes and workflows but not yet showing up in real productivity gains One theory is ‘the metrics used are suspect’ – however, the author sides with another The rapid evolution in transformative technologies …

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Greatest AI value needs new business models

In the 60s and 70s, most firms invested in mainframe computers, then minis, to improve service, not output, and because everyone else seemed to be doing so – they were not investing in IT to improve productivity – and these IT investments were all focussed on supporting existing business models Josh Sutton, CEO of Agorai, …

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CEOs rate potential of new technology ‘very low’!

A new Gartner survey of 388 CEOs/ senior executives found they rated as “very low” the potential for productivity improvement from new breakthrough technologies such as IoT, AI, blockchain (secure databases) and 3D printing In particular, when asked for their ‘top enabling technology for improving productivity’: Only 2% chose IoT – and only 1% picked either …

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The capitalist’s dilemma

N.B. The following are extracts from an article published in the Harvard Business Review in June, 2014 – it remains highly relevant today Professor Clayton Christensen and Derek van Bever of Harvard Business School  have embarked on a fascinating study into what may be holding back growth in the USA and elsewhere given ‘corporations are …

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Full AI impact may take time

Erik Brynjolfson, an MIT economics professor, says: “We are optimistic about the ultimate productivity growth fuelled by AI and complementary technologies The real issue is that it takes time to implement changes in processes, skills and organisational structures to fully harness AI’s potential as a GPT (General Purpose Technology)”   Benefits from specific applications are …

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GE announces ‘Big Data’ productivity gains

A new report from GE – General Electric, USA – found that the Industrial Internet  could add €2.2 trn to European GDP by 2030, boost productivity and spur economic expansion. The report, called The Industrial Internet – Pushing the Boundaries of Minds and Machines: A European Perspective, says that a mere 1 % increase in efficiency …

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