Return to Productivity


    • Productivity improvement has become a complex subject embracing most management disciplines, made even more complex by its measurement becoming more difficult as economies develop and services come to dominate


    • 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


    • Demand then increases and company profits improve enabling increases in pay levels which generate even more demand plus more tax-take for governments to provide more and better public services


    • The downside can be job losses for some but, to date, productivity improvement has led to a net increase in jobs plus whole new sectors created – and most people outplaced are able to find other jobs, often better paid and more fulfilling


    • 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’


    • Hence, one would expect there to be thousands of books, seminars, conferences, specialist courses, website pages and apps focussed on productivity improvement – plus directors and consultants specialising in the subject – surprisingly, there are very few


    • Indeed, productivity is ‘off the radar’ for most managers at all levels – everybody is said to be responsible for it, so nobody is – in effect, they’re ‘flying blind’ – unforeseen events top their priority lists, daily firefighting is their norm, productivity improvement is not even on their agendas


    • Hence most organisations in most sectors, public and private, operate well below their potential – not 1 or 2% below but at least 20% – the great majority could offer much more and better, many with fewer resources and so at much less cost


    • Our latest book – ‘Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited – an updated and shorter version of the original 500pp ‘Productivity Knowhow’ only became possible because of the spare time afforded by the Covid-19 pandemic – and this website includes many extracts from it


    • Together, they target all managers on the front-line who are keen to make big productivity improvements but lack the ‘productivity knowhow’ – in particular, they seek to simplify the complex so as to maximise their understanding to be able to take effective action


    • Their overall aim is as before:


                    ‘To help managers improve lives’