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 within businesses using approaches which have been proven to work well

  • All information and opinions are offered for free

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

  • Sadly, too many managers don’t understand this, instead believing it has passed its shelf-life having been relevant only to shop floor and clerical work when industry, not services, dominated 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 created even more demand for different and/or better goods and services so economies, standards of living and quality of lives further improved

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

  • ‘Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited BookThis website offers many extracts from our latest book on productivity – Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited – an updated and shorter version of the original ‘Productivity Knowhow’ which became possible because of the spare time afforded by Covid-19

  • Together, this website’s pages, the book and articles posted weekly 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

German army efficiency grid

A useful thought follows, dredged up from an old copy of ‘Bluffers Guide‘ re consultancy which, in many ways, continues to be relevant today whilst also raising a chuckle or two The German army was once renowned for its efficiency – but how did they manage this? It was said to be because of the …

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State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Gallup Report

A new report from Gallup offers more aggregated statistics that nobody can dispute – it merely adds to the dense information fog that leaders offer the productivity world – front-line managers should read on and be prompted to change, or not This annual report represents the collective voice of the global employee. In this year’s report, …

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WFH – A clash of productivity and morality?

An interesting viewpoint from the ever-controversial Elon Musk follows which is copied from an article in a publication of which, sadly, I no longer have  the details One prominent figure who has taken a strong stance against remote work is Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla. In recent statements, Musk not only criticised the productivity …

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AI offers a massive uptick in productivity growth

Dean Baker, the senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, just wrote a wise article in ‘Counterpunch’ about the pluses and minuses of Artificial Intelligence and raised issues many commentators overlook We have long known that people in policy debates have difficulty with arithmetic and basic logic. We got …

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£300 bn annual UK saving ignored!

In the UK alone, at least 80% of all organisations could improve their productivity by at least 20%, many by 50% or more A conservative 20% productivity improvement across all sectors would translate into an annual saving of at least £300 billion for the UK alone – realised by a combination of: Cutting waste, and/ …

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Will AI be good for workers?

The McKinsey Global Institute is a rare source of good practical advice on major productivity issues – here, their Michael Chui, Kweilin Ellingrud and Asutosh Padhit focus on the impact of AI and actions needed now to take most advantage of it – the following article was published by Fortune magazine – its message applies globally, not just …

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Altman updates ‘Moores Law’

Hermione Taylor, writing in the Investors’ Chronicle, considers whether “newfangled AI technology will solve our economic problems or be the cause of unknown crises – AI could transform productivity but at what cost?”   As advanced economies battle high inflation, low growth, stagnant productivity and labour shortages, could salvation be on the horizon? Last month, …

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Brexit, strikes and labour shortages

Below, Larry Elliott, economics editor of the Guardian, resurrects the economic debate about Brexit – he says: “If you want a benefit of Brexit, here it is: British employers must now innovate again” – what he overlooks is, for many of us including me, Brexit was about sovereignty, not economics – we would have liked to …

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Workers become happier, more productive with AI assistance

According to Madison Hoff, writing for Business Insider, a study of workers who got an AI assistant became happier, more productive, and less likely to quit There’s a lot of fear right now about whether AI is coming to replace people’s jobs. Tech workers like software engineers are concerned about AI in the workplace, for instance. AI may …

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Our productivity problem may not be as bad as it looks

Some good sense from Clancy Yeates, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, about current productivity levels down-under and applicable to most developed nations  High inflation isn’t the only thing that’s bothering Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe. He’s also been making noises lately about a problem affecting many economies around the world, including ours: weak productivity …

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Boost your productivity … do absolutely nothing

Gavin Esler, the broadcaster, says too many of us are drowning in digital stimuli but the best ideas come when we log off – take a trip on any London tube train to see the problem – take a nap after a good lunch to enjoy the oncoming wellbeing world An older man takes a …

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It’s not process that matters, it’s content

Adam Straker claims that Steve Jobs was obsessed with productivity SHARE Steve Jobs said that “we all need time for uninterrupted individual work – meetings (suppliers, interviews…) rob us of individual time, and the productivity of our engineers” He was very clear about how to identify the most productive people – employees who are results-focused …

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