National productivity positions built on sand

I read an article about Chinese productivity posted by Bloomberg journalist Michael Schuman and sent him the following email:


I read your article about Chinese productivity with great interest

The first step in any major productivity improvement drive is indeed to establish the current position – where are you now?

Most ‘expert’ commentators try to do this but are forced to use flawed GDP and so flawed national productivity statistics – then they offer a wide variety of broad solutions based on that flawed data which, in their view, will close apparent productivity gaps

Meanwhile, lowly managers on the front-line are left with little practical advice on what they could and should do at their level – yet it’s only at their level where some 80% of any national productivity improvement can be made

Given this ‘productivity support vacuum’ affecting all nations, you and China may be interested in my website – – which offers free advice on productivity improvement for all managers at all levels in all sectors, public and private

If I can be of any further help, do please let me know




Michael replied the same day, from Peking:

Thanks for reading.

Yes, the data isn’t perfect but at least you can get a sense of trends in productivity – i.e. is it going up or down, or how countries compare.



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