Welcome to Productivity Knowhow

For managers at all levels who are interested in

making big productivity improvements

  • Our focus is on measuring the right things and then finding practical ways to close performance gaps using approaches which have been proven to work well

  • Productivity improvement is a complex subject embracing most management disciplines and affecting all organisations, large and small, in all sectors, public and private

  • Sadly, too many managers believe productivity was relevant to the shop floor in the manufacturing sector alone, not all levels in all sectors, especially services which now dominate ‘developed economies’

  • The upside of widespread productivity improvement is a vast increase in national economic growth rates and standards of living, mostly achieved by reducing unit costs of goods and services enabling many more people to afford them, thereby increasing profits and so pay levels

  • The latter creates even more demand for different and/or better goods and services so economies, standards of living and quality of lives are further improved

  • With such benefits, ‘how to improve productivity’ has become the most important peace-time issue facing any manager or government minister – at least in ‘non-pandemic times’

  • ‘Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited BookThis website offers extracts from the 21 sections of our latest book on productivity – Productivity Knowhow Revisited’ – plus articles posted weekly which address issues raised in them see the right-hand column on this page for a list of them all

  • Together, this website’s pages, the book and the weekly posts target managers on the front-line who are keen to make big productivity improvements but lack the productivity knowhow

  • Their overall aim is to simplify the complex, increase managers’ understanding of how to improve productivity and enable them to take effective action – to the benefit of all

Latest Posts

Civil Service should stand on past shoulders

At last, some good practical uncommon business sense for the public sector Approaches we’ve been banging on about for years have come to the fore – some will claim it’s updated ‘old hat’ whilst ignoring the huge potential benefits for all Colin Talbot, writing in Civil Service World, says: “It’s time government embraced the human …

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HR to increase return on talent

Yet again, an interesting and worthy article from the only big and well-known management consultancy that recognises the importance and breadth of all to do with productivity improvement – McKinsey & Company They say: “Every company understands how crucial return on investment is. But how many view return on talent the same way?” They claim: …

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‘Effective Executives’ by Peter Drucker

Pearls of wisdom from the great management guru, Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005) follow – they remain valid and important to this day, so are well worth reading and being followed They were recently publicised again in the Harvard Business Review so that wise management magazine clearly thinks the same way about them Peter Drucker was an …

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“Life is unfair, get used to it” – Bill Gates!

UAW President Shawn Fain recently addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions which met to consider how workers might benefit from new technology and Increased productivity In particular, to consider the need for a 32-hour work week with no loss in pay President Fain highlighted the huge disparity between the income …

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‘Chat GPT 4.0’ reveals how any nation can improve productivity

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the launch of the latest version of Chat GPT I thought I’d check what this potential panacea for many human problems thought about the biggest peacetime issue facing us all – how to continuously improve productivity and so our standard of living Not wishing to be greedy, I limited my …

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Whither ‘Employee Suggestion Schemes’?

It was good to read Harry Wallop’s article in The Times entitled ‘Workers are better placed than bosses to improve productivity’ He cited a person working at the Ministry of Defence saying: “If management would listen to me, we could improve antiquated processes and procedures” Harry followed this up by noting that: “Some companies run …

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Productivity optimism

Readers will know we try to simplify the complex subject of productivity improvement at organisation, national and global levels They also know we are concerned that so many of our leaders (e.g. politicians, economists, academics, think-tanks) base much of their wisdom on productivity measurements which they know are flawed but use them for lack of …

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Worker happiness – Hitachi gets it

Most current productivity measures are relics from the old days of manufacturing – comparisons of physical output volumes with labour inputs, either hours or FTEs (Full-Time Equivalents) Manufacturing once comprised some 80% of G7 economies and labour (hands) the majority of its costs so outputs and inputs were relatively easy to measure and, together, provided …

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Profit Share for a Productivity Rise

How do we boost productivity? Give workers a piece of the action   Following is an article published in the ‘Fort Frances Times’ by Frank Stronach , founder of Magna International Inc., one of Canada’s largest global companies. He makes a powerful, intuitively obvious, argument for giving all employees in any organisation a significant share …

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The NHS’s productivity conundrum

The UK spring budget announced a further £3.4bn for new technology to support an NHS ‘productivity plan’ – however, new technology is no productivity panacea on its own – it usually takes considerable time and a lot of staff training before any new major technology can make a big difference – and the NHS needs …

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A productivity ‘cocked hat’!

As the Nobel prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman once said: “We fixate on anything that can be measured, even badly, and ignore the obvious elsewhere” – Copernicus suffered from such attitudes – the ‘Flat Earth Society’ existed because of them ‘Productivity growth’ has become the holy grail for most developed and developing nations: It determines an …

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“AI could replace almost all forms of labour”!

Sundar Pichal, CEO of Google believes AI will have a more profound impact on humanity than fire, electricity and the internet – it will fundamentally change how we live our lives, and will transform health care, education and manufacturing – and make humans much more productive McKinsey say there’s little doubt that AI can help …

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