• 31 Aug 2018 8:10 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    Modern workplaces seem antagonistic to efficient working and productivity.  They are noisy, stressful, full of constant chatter. constant interruptions from telephones, streams of emails and so on.


    Perhaps its time to turn the clock back.  Get rid of some of the technology. Start to think about the workers, not the kit. We know that productivity is all about people - let's show them we believe that by thinking about their needs. 


    Let's give them the time and space they need to be productive and creative.


  • 24 Aug 2018 7:53 AM | John Heap (Administrator)

    Most of us try to organise our working day to maximise performance and efficiency. Yet for many of us that day can be ruined before it really starts. 


    If we rise and start worrying about what we should wear (which tie?) and then have a stressful commute, we have drained some of our precious potential energy.


    So start your working day the night before. Plan your wardrobe, plan your commute (including the distractions from the stress - your music, podcast or reading material). 


    Smile at your fellow commuters ... you will get smiles back and feel better.


    Arrive at work ready to go and hit the ground running by attacking an agenda you established before you left yesterday.


    A good start is so important.



  • 17 Aug 2018 6:45 AM | John Heap (Administrator)

    If you want the real secret to productivity development, it is ...


    Well, the most important factor is to always, always remember rule number 7 - train and develop your staff, and treat them well.  They really are your most important resource - the source of your innovation, your improvement, your quality.


    What about rules 1 to 6, I hear you ask.   They don't exist - but the one true rule is so important it needs a number like 7 ... and I guarantee you are more likely to remember it because it is rule number 7.


    So, start practising it, today.

  • 10 Aug 2018 6:40 AM | John Heap (Administrator)

    We all know he importance of backing up the work we do on computer - even if we don't always practise what we know we should.


    We also know we should have some form of backup service for the primary services and technologies we use - this can be expensive however, to maintain services we will hopefully never use.


    Like all 'insurance' we have to weigh the risks with the costs and take rational decisions. What we must not do is to pretend the problem /issue does not exist and fail to plan.


    If we have staff waiting around because core systems are not working, it can be very expensive.




  • 03 Aug 2018 5:08 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    When giving talks to people about productivity, I often express my amazement - and my worry - that governments spend a lot of time working on the wrong things.


    For example, in the UK at the current time, Brexit has been dominating the time of Parliament  and the Cabinet.


    Brexit is important- but it doesn't solve any of the UK's underlying productivity problems.


    Government needs to do what we all have to do - sort out the urgent from the important - and make sure longer-term planning is not forgotten for the sake of short-term expediency.


  • 26 Jul 2018 10:21 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    Does technology improve productivity?


    Silly question, isn't it?


    Well no. If you could monitor what your staff are 'working' on all the time, you would find that many book holidays, contact their medical practitioner, look for theatre schedules - and so on ... all in your time.


    They work more productively on task perhaps but the time they gain they treat as their own.


    I am not suggesting you put sophisticated monitoring software on their PCs - they would only use their phones...  but that you recognise these unintended consequences of introducing technology.


    The same is true of other technologies - what we expect to gain we often do ... but we might lose other elements to the technology - and the net gain might be less than we expect. When you do the sums, make sure you factor in unintended negative consequences. If the sums still work, go ahead.  if the negative consequences don't arise - you get a premium!


  • 20 Jul 2018 8:28 AM | John Heap (Administrator)

    This week is The Open Golf Championship - what Americans like to call the British Open but is is THE Open.


    The Open obviously has the best golfers in the world - and as with most majors recently rends to be won by an American golfer.  This leads t=you to believe that American golfers are the world's best.


    Yet, Europe regularly beats America in the Ryder Cup - a team event. 


    Successful teams need more than individual talent.  Whether in sport or in business, building an effective team needs individuals to be put together so they are complementary - and on top it needs team spirit and motivation.


    Whoever wins this Open, I would still bet on Europe for the Ryder Cup.  The US college golf system makes US players competitive but not good team players. 


  • 12 Jul 2018 8:56 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    I read a piece the other day on the use of productivity measures for academic staff. The measures were all about output quantity (presumably with the proviso that papers wouldn’t be published if they didn’t meet quality criteria). However what matters is not quantity of output or quality of output but the impact of that output - how is thinking or practice changed as a result. This is difficult to measure as truly innovative and original ideas could take years to achieve their full impact. But attempting to judge it - even subjectively - might be a better measure than simply counting it.



    Productivity measures can be quite difficult to establish in certain contexts but we should be as creative with our measures as we are with our productivity improvements. 


  • 06 Jul 2018 7:32 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    Does technology improve productivity?


    Silly question, isn't it?


    Well no. If you could monitor what your staff are 'working' on all the time, you would find that many book holidays, contact their medical practitioner, look for theatre schedules - and so on ... all in your time.


    They work more productively on task perhaps but the time they gain they treat as their own.


    I am not suggesting you put sophisticated monitoring software on their PCs - they would only use their phones...  but that you recognise these unintended consequences of introducing technology.


    The same is true of other technologies - what we expect to gain we often do ... but we might lose other elements to the technology - and the net gain might be less than we expect. When you do the sums, make sure you factor in unintended negative consequences. If the sums still work, go ahead.  if the negative consequences don't arise - you get a premium!


  • 29 Jun 2018 7:38 AM | John Heap (Administrator)

    Most of us believe that technology has a good track record in improving productivity.


    But there have been many promised futures that did not come about.  Think 'the paperless office' for one.  This was first mooted back in the 1960s and every decade or so, someone promotes the concept again (normally scanner manufacturers).


    Well, mindful of stepping onto a burning platform, I think - finally - the time might be nigh.  Scanners - yes! but more so -cheap storage ... especially cloud storage, accessible from anywhere in the world - could be the real key.  Add in effective search mechanisms to find the documents in that cloud and we might have a winning formula.


    Oh, and of course we have a generation of users brought up in the digital era - who are quite used to reading things off screens.


    A perfect storm?



Contact us

Address: 3rd Floor, Telegraph House,  80 Cleethorpe Road, Grimsby, DN31 3EF 

Phone:    +44 1472 358195

Email:     Info@instituteofproductivity.com

                     Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software