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 in any sector
  • It depends on many factors, making it difficult to summarise using only a few measures
  • It’s just a plant efficiency, shop floor, blue collar measure and only concerns the manufacturing sector
  • It’s not relevant to service sectors or support functions – what are their outputs after all?

And, nowadays, little seems to have changed

Major UK business organisations, business schools and management consultancies (except one I have no connection with) continue to specialise in everything but productivity

Send a copy of our book ‘Productivity Knowhow Revisited’ to the Tory Party to help them with their efforts when they announce a new focus on making the public sector more efficient and one doesn’t even get a one-line thankyou email – however, send another copy to the Labour Party and one gets an official signed thankyou letter

Even this humble productivity website, which offers free practical advice on ‘what works’ for any organisation, public or private sector, to make BIG productivity improvements , generates far far more interest globally than here in the UK – a breakdown of the thousands of visitors we attract from different countries is as follows:


One is thus tempted to think the above picture reflects a current lack of interest in productivity improvement at UK senior management level, yet they are the people in charge of it – but apparent productivity growth has been sclerotic in all the nations listed above – so maybe that’s because, unlike for most people, senior management wage levels everywhere have not been stagnating for a decade or more  


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