Return to National productivity

National action needed

  • As with organisations, there are many options for change and improvement open to all nations, even when there’s a  financial crisis whirling around them
  • Some of those options are better/ more effective than others
  • And different nations are at different stages of development which means some options must be considered before others – this also determines what they can afford
  •  G7 developed economies have many areas to choose from, including:
    • Deregulation which has often raised productivity in the past and can continue to do so
    • Changing the boundaries around the work–life balance
    • Encouraging people to stay in the workforce longer or
    • Increasing the number of hours worked each week
    • Improving education and so skills of its workforce
  • Each could add a few points of absolute growth
  • To continually improve, nations need vision and effort
  • However, history shows that all nations that rise also eventually fall – they end up defending the status quo rather than taking steps to advance further




Governments don’t determine national productivity levels – business managers do However, governments can and do do many things to help managers, including:   Managers are principally responsible to their employing organisation and its customers – they must try to get the most out of its limited resources – they must try to minimise the costly …

Extra action needed – Overall

1. National Productivity Centres – NPCs: Clearly, all governments should take national productivity improvement very seriously – the potential benefits are £300 billion per annum for the UK alone! They should set up their own NPC to chase such enormous benefits – each NPC should be independently funded so it cannot be swayed for any …

Extra action needed – Private sector

Clusters: Clusters are ‘geographically proximate groups of interconnected companies, suppliers, service providers and associated institutions in a particular field’ – they need a sizeable local population, nearby universities and research establishments, some suppliers and customers already there, and cheap and fast transport Clusters enable cities to be more productive than towns, and mega-cities more than …

Extra action needed – Public sector

All governments must cut their cloth to what their public can afford – basic guidelines for their actions should be: Ration services to only those the public deem to be essential Target sector-wide improvements of 20% or more, not 1 to 2% Focus on less waste before less service Invest more to improve ‘core’ infrastructure, …

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