Welcome to Productivity Knowhow

Targeting 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

  • All information and opinions are offered for free

  • Productivity improvement is a complex subject embracing most management disciplines. 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. 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 BookOur latest book in a productivity trilogy – Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited – is an updated and shorter version of the original ‘Productivity Knowhow’ – it became possible because of the spare time afforded by the Covid-19 pandemic and this website includes many extracts from it

  • Together, the books and posted articles on this website target managers on the front-line who are keen to make big productivity improvements but lack the ‘productivity knowhow’ – in particular, the overall aim is to simplify the complex and so maximise their understanding so they can take effective action

Why should a department head, marketing or branch manager, chief constable or fire officer, CEO or government minister bother about productivity?

  • In the private sector, productivity determines sales revenue and profit margins, and hence the number of jobs available, the pay levels possible and the national tax-take potential

  • In the public sector, productivity determines unit costs and so the volume and quality of services that can be provided for the limited tax-payers’ money allocated

  • Nationally, productivity thus determines the standard of living and quality of life of everyone living there

Latest Posts

ChatGPT – The next General Purpose Technology?

Sean Speer, writing in California’s ‘The Hub’, claims ChatGPT’s emergence offers the hope of a more productive future – he says these new AI technologies could finally break our economies out of stagnation and kick-start real growth – Robert Solow and Robert Gordon, amongst many others, have already pointed out that GPT gains take many …

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Big Bad Data Is Sapping Your Team’s Productivity

A useful article on the importance of data quality, published in the Harvard Business Review and written by Thomas C. Redman, aka the ‘Data Doc’, President of Data Quality Solutions. Data science was supposed to create a new productivity boom but, for many companies, that boom never arrived. What’s gone wrong? While companies have invested …

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How to Answer America’s Productivity Slump

At long last, Erica Gunn, writing in Inc.com, focuses on how most of the current ‘productivity puzzle’ which baffles our leaders could be resolved – not by government ministers and economists at the macro level, who indeed have a role to play but only impact some 20% of the total picture – but by managers …

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Public sector productivity – TPI reports

A report by The Productivity Institute unveils urgent recommendations to raise public sector productivity through focusing on outcomes and identifying bottlenecks for improvement – but one is left wondering what individual  public sector managers would actually do tomorrow as a result – and also thinking the claimed £1.8bn benefits on offer are paltry compared with …

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Elon Musk’s rules of ‘insane productivity’

Like many others, Ariana Baio lists Elon Musk’s six rules of ‘insane productivity’ in indy100.com which Musk sent to all his Twitter employees – they make good sense, as far as they go, albeit they’re sure not silver bullets for becoming super super rich – but then he applies his old-school Theory X man-management views, …

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Train in Vain?

An important article from the Resolution Foundation and their Economy 2030  project studying skills, tasks, and training in the UK labour market – written byNye Cominetti, Rui Costa, Andrew Eyles, Kathleen Henehan, and Sandra McNally – human capital and skills are important for improving the UK’s labour market and economic performance – they  assess how the skills needed in …

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Wellbeing – Why Does It Matter?

Some may find the following offers useful food for thought, others consider it just commonsense and a tad long – Gallup are advertising their modestly titled ‘advanced global research and advice’ for understanding an organisation’s wellbeing needs, prioritising interventions and creating meaningful change –  wellbeing is certainly a topic of interest gaining momentum in the …

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An AI productivity boom is coming

Here’s what to consider as AI and machine learning become omnipresent, according to MIT Sloan researchers, visiting scholars, and industry experts. Artificial intelligence is changing most occupations, but it is far from replacing humans, according to a book examining the findings of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future. Some 92% of large …

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Don’t fear robots

An article by George Elmaraghy  in the Akron Beacon Journal makes one think he’s already read, and agreed with, our latest book ‘Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited  Robots may be the answer to worker shortages Robots have been around for decades. For most of their history, they were perceived as awkward mechanical devices used in factory assembly lines …

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Stretching police productivity

A new report from across the pond by Police Chief Joel F. Shults proposes the incorporation of auxiliary private security agents in non-core areas such as administration and other ancillary tasks so as to provide the public with a better police service and vastly improve current charge rates for more serious crime What are the …

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Could AI solve the UK’s productivity problem?

According to Ryan Morrison in Tech Monitor, automating repetitive tasks could boost Britain’s output, but MPs were told this week workers must be protected UK productivity has remained relatively static for the past 15 years with minimal growth compared to countries like China and the US. The cause is up for debate, but many experts …

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How becoming a kinder version of yourself boosts productivity

My wife, Rhona, once said: “There’s no downside to being kind” and I quoted her at the start of ‘Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited, little realising the impact that kindness might have on productivity – until this article just published in ‘Fast Company’ by Stephanie Vozza – and apologies upfront to those anti her use of 4-letter …

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