Editor

  • Dick Smythe was educated at Bolton School, then graduated in pure mathematics and statistics from St Andrews University – afterwards, he took a masters degree in Operations Research (OR) at Birmingham University under the great Professor Stephen Vajda 

  • He became a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, Operational Research Society, Institute of Management Services and Institute of Physical Distribution Management

  • His career started with a scholarship from Dorman Long Steel on Teesside, working shifts on blast furnaces and steel mills during university holidays before joining their OR department based at Redcar

  • He subsequently moved to London when invited to join the world-famous BISRA OR department – then part of British Steel – under Professor Sir Charles Goodeve, FRS and was involved in designing their new electric-arc furnace steel plant,  reducing costs of their open-hearth steel plants, forecasting global shipping (VLCC) lease prices and formulating their iron ore shipping strategy

  • During these earlier years, he also became an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve, serving on their coastal minesweepers – and a wing forward for Rosslyn Park RFC (n’th XV) playing mostly for their famed après-rugby

  • He was then recruited by Europe’s leading consultancy of the day, PA Consulting Group, and went on to set up and grow their Productivity Services Division into a significant part of the business, becoming a PA director and sitting on their UK management consultancy board

  • Whilst there, he led the first joint study into UK Productivity – ‘CLOSING THE GAP’ by first sampling 2,300 member companies of the CBI and then presenting the results on national TV, radio and at a press conference with CBI Director General Sir John Banham

  • The Times leader commented: “It is refreshing to come across something that has its feet firmly planted on the ground”

  • Since then, he has mixed productivity consultancy work with making a few bob from the property and stock markets, skippering his own boat in the Fastnet and many other RORC offshore yacht races and failing to keep his golf handicap down to single figures at Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club

  • He is happily married to Rhona, has two fine sons, Rob and Ed,  and a lovely daughter-in-law, Victoria, who is mother to his favourite grandchildren, Amelie and William – and he lives either by the Solent or at Marble Arch in London

  • He wrote ‘Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited, and continually updates this supporting website, because, as the late Peter Drucker once said: “Managers have always sought something which lets them do their job with less effort, in less time, yet with greater impact”