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

  • 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

Technology is not enough for productivity that matters

Dani Rodrik, professor of international political economy at Harvard Kennedy School, is president of the International Economic Association and the author of ‘Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy’ – extracts from his views follow: “Scientific and technological innovation might be necessary for the productivity growth that enriches societies, but it is …

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“Does anyone even understand productivity?” – The Critic

A new magazine ‘The Critic’ has just been launched – it includes an article on official measures of national productivity which, in its own way, makes many salient points about how seriously flawed they are, yet on which most of our political leaders and expert economists base their policies – readers will know we made …

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UK Civil Service expansion ended yet quality of services to rise!

The Chancellor has announced a cap on civil servant headcount across Whitehall ‘to stop any further expansion, increase efficiencies and boost productivity’ – apart from an overwhelming sense of deja vu, one wonders what the impact of this latest initiative will be on individual processes remaining staff have to follow and so the quality of services …

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AI will supercharge productivity – but will workers benefit?

An important warning from Nir Kaissar,  a ‘Bloomberg Opinion’ columnist, about the ever-expanding pay differentials between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in the USA – the same situation applies in other G7 economies – it has been described as a ticking time bomb, barely considered whilst most focus is on the impact that AI technology will …

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Productivity leads to prosperity

New from the MGI – McKinsey Global Institute – a transcript of a McKinsey podcast where Olivia White and Charles Atkins join McKinsey editorial director and host Roberta Fusaro to share tangible ways for boosting US productivity. We always applaud the MGI for being one of the very few to focus on productivity as being …

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How To Win? – Manage well

Aliza Knox, a contributor to Forbes.com which habitually seems to offer splendid business common-sense, writes about how to rise and thrive in today’s global corporate world – whilst the world currently seems infatuated, and so blinded, by the claimed benefits versus potential pitfalls of AI, she homes in on the most import driver of productivity …

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The key to solving the NHS productivity puzzle

At long last, a focus on the real needs for improving NHS productivity levels – our political leaders, whatever their colour, forever compete for votes by promising more and more costly inputs – more doctors, nurses, hospitals etc. – and we, the public, the customers, the people who pay for them, mostly admire the staff …

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Productivity relatively ignored!

Once upon a time a CBI survey of senior UK managers found that 80% of them paid little attention to productivity – it was not a boardroom issue – their specific views included: It’s too difficult to measure productivity in most areas and sectors It’s seldom the main determinant of financial success for any organisation …

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“AI will double productivity in next decade”

Geoff Colvin, writing for Fortune magazine, reports that top economist Professor  Erik Brynjolfsson says AI will double productivity in the next decade: ‘You need to embrace this technology and not resist it’ Years before Open AI’s ChatGPT startled the world in 2022, Erik Brynjolfsson was studying the questions that have since made AI a red-hot topic: Will the …

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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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