Return to National productivity

National action

  • As with organisations, there are many options for change and improvement open to all nations, even when there’s a  financial crisis whirling around them
  • Some of those options are better/ more effective than others
  • And different nations are at different stages of development which means some options must be considered before others – this also determines what they can afford
  •  G7 developed economies have many areas to choose from, including:
    • Deregulation which has often raised productivity in the past and can continue to do so
    • Changing the boundaries around the work–life balance
    • Encouraging people to stay in the workforce longer or
    • Increasing the number of hours worked each week
    • Improving education and so skills of its workforce
  • Each could add a few points of absolute growth
  • To continually improve, nations need vision and effort
  • However, history shows that all nations that rise also eventually fall – they end up defending the status quo rather than taking steps to advance further




Governments don’t determine national productivity levels – business managers do However, governments can and do do many things to help managers, including: Managers are principally responsible to their employing organisation and its customers – they must try to get the most out of its limited resources – they must try to minimise the costly resources …

Needed overall

1. National Productivity Centres – NPCs: Clearly, all governments should take national productivity improvement very seriously – the potential benefits are £300 billion per annum for the UK alone! They should set up their own NPC to chase such enormous benefits – each NPC should be independently funded so it cannot be swayed for any …

Needed – Private sector

Clusters: Clusters are ‘geographically proximate groups of interconnected companies, suppliers, service providers and associated institutions in a particular field’ – they need a sizeable local population, nearby universities and research establishments, some suppliers and customers already there, and cheap and fast transport Clusters enable cities to be more productive than towns, and mega-cities more than …

Needed – Public sector

All governments must cut their cloth to what their public can afford – basic guidelines for their actions should be: Ration services to only those the public deem to be essential Target sector-wide improvements of 20% or more, not 1 to 2% Focus on less waste before less service Invest more to improve ‘core’ infrastructure, …


The NHS is a great success story: On average UK citizens now enjoy much longer, healthier, pain-free lives Treatments offered are far better and time in hospital has been dramatically reduced thanks to better methods like day and key-hole surgery The great majority of people are happy with the service they get from the NHS …

Education sector

The issues: A well-educated workforce is essential if any nation is to prosper in the global markets of today: India’s university population is expected to rise from 12,000,000 to over 30,000,000 by 2020 Only some 2,500,000 study at university in the UK   Education productivity levels in the UK are not good – major reform …

Justice sector

The prison service is substantially not working, and needs to change   Clearly, any villain locked away will be prevented from committing any crimes, at least personally, but over 70% of offenders re-offend within one year – about 85% in the case of younger offenders   Why is this?   First, most prisoners are locked …

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