• At national level, productivity improvement aims to get more goods and services out of the existing labour, indigenous and imported materials, and capital resources available
  • It enables a nation to enjoy greater prosperity via higher wages, a stronger currency and a better standard of living for all
  • It’s the best means available to fight price inflation, reduce unemployment, reduce unit costs, create wealth and look after the poor and needy
  • Hence, the most important economic issue facing any government is ‘how best to improve national productivity?’
  • Surprisingly, most government ministers don’t recognise this importance, much like most managers – they exhort the nation to ‘raise productivity levels’ and ‘close productivity gaps’, but where’s the beef behind their words



  • Some countries do take productivity seriously, however – they actively support ‘Productivity Commissions’ (Australia, New Zealand) or ‘Productivity Centres’ (Japan – JPC, USA – APQC), employ senior business and Trade Union representatives and study major productivity issues
  • National productivity is not even measured well – the focus is on labour productivity alone, errors are rife, accuracy is debatable, sector breakdowns are ignored
  • We’re not after perspiration but imagination – not more but smarter working


National PI process


National productivity plans

All nations need some form of productivity plan which outlines the broad thrusts their government intends to make to improve the well-being of the maximum number of its citizens – but most do not have such a plan, and the few that do don’t let their citizens know much about it Cynics ask ‘why bother?’ …

National productivity measures

There are three measures of national productivity on offer from the UK’s ONS (Office for National Statistics):     National productivity measures Output per hour worked – the most popular measure: Reflects the international differences in hours worked, holiday entitlements and the flexibility of the labour market including part-time and other alternative work patterns More …

National productivity gaps

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 …

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