• 22 Jan 2016 6:45 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    I talked last week about the need to think about key issues well in advance of them coming to pass. (The example I used was driverless cars saying we, collectively, should be thinking now about the algorithms used to determine the action the car's systems should take in the event of a potential accident - to save the driver, a pedestrian, another vehicle or....


    Burt, of course, in other scenarios, thinking is not enough.  Lots of companies, for example, have had great strategies crafted by lots of successful strategic thinking - but they have then failed to execute effectively.


    So good thinking must be followed by good execution.  You need a team around you who can do both.  So, look at your team and decide who are the thinkers, who are the executors.  Do you have enough of both - and can you act as the link between them.  Someone has to!



  • 15 Jan 2016 7:19 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    We are in the age of driverless cars. Experts predict that a commercial, driverless car is less than a decade away.


    But in the event of a potential accident, who does the car save - the driver, a pedestrian about to be hit, the occupants of another vehicle?


    The algorithms built into the car's systems will determine the answer ... but who has devised those algorithms .. and based on whose thinking.



    These are issues that should be concerning us now .. not in 5 years time when we are in the car not driving it.


  • 09 Jan 2016 9:49 AM | John Heap (Administrator)

    Many of us work, at least for some of the time, from, home.


    Yet, many of us find it hard to be fully productive in such work.


    For people whose work involves a lot of home working, it might be wroth considering a shared workspace that offers both support facilities and social interaction.


    Of course it will cost you, but it offers more structure to your working day and to your work practices.


  • 31 Dec 2015 4:39 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    This  is the first blog post of the new year.  It should perhaps therefore have a strong message of positivity for that new year.


    But that new year, for you, will be what you make it.  reading my blog posts might be of some little interest to you - but it is not going to change how you behave - or what you do.


    So, I leave you to find your own positive way forward.  My only piece of advice is to always remember who you are, and what your true values are. If what you do fits with those values, you won't go far wrong!


  • 30 Dec 2015 4:14 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    We, in the UK and US, are lucky to have English as our mother tongue.  It has become the de facto language of trade and commerce.


    So, we have a 'head start' in trade negotiations.


    However it also means that people in the UK and US are not motivated to learn other languages.  We simply assume that everyone else will learn English.


    This means that we also do not pick up on cultural differences that language learning helps to educate about. This can make English speakers culturally insensitive - not recognising the nuances of culture, language - and body language - that people convey in trade (and other) discussions.


    So our great asset is something of a liability - cutting us off from the learning that others get as a bonus with their language learning.


    We need to work hard to make up this deficit.


  • 18 Dec 2015 8:05 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    All developing countries go through a stage of urbanisation - as people leave the countryside and flock to the cities in pursuit of a share of the wealth that cities create.


    This generally results in higher national productivity.


    However, those same countries need to address productivity in, and of, the countryside.


    In a typical agriculture supply chain, there is plenty of scope for value to be lost - right from planting through to cropping, processing and distribution.  The best producing countries maximise value at all stages in the process.


    This has the advantage of retaining labour in the countryside - and helping balance the economy.



  • 11 Dec 2015 8:07 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    All developing countries go through a stage of urbanisation - as people leave the countryside and flock to the cities in pursuit of a share of the wealth that cities create.


    This generally results in higher national productivity.


    However, those same countries need to address productivity in, and of, the countryside.


    In a typical agriculture supply chain, there is plenty of scope for value to be lost - right from planting through to cropping, processing and distribution.  The best producing countries maximise value at all stages in the process.


    This has the advantage of retaining labour in the countryside - and helping balance the economy.



  • 04 Dec 2015 7:22 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    There seems to be, in some people's eyes, a dichotomy between safety and productivity.


    The former is regarded as a compliance issue - a chore, a headache, an imposition - a drain on productivity.


    Of course it partly depends on how safety is treated as an issue. Those who have used poka-yoke as an error-reducing technique will realise that it can also be used as an accident-reducing technique ... so that it makes a process both safer and more productive at the same time.  In fact this is the best way to address safety - every time we reduce the chance of an accident or other safety incident, we reduce value losses.


    So it is definitely not a case of 'either/or' but a vase of 'both together' - making what we do both safer and more productive.  Any other approach is unthinkable.


  • 27 Nov 2015 5:55 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    In the UK, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has signalled a kind of U-turn by scrapping his plans to cut tax credits and offering more money for the health service, for defence and for the police.  This seems to be the end of his austerity planning - though he says he still intends to cut the deficit by the end of this parliament.


    I'm not an economist so I tend to think in simple - perhaps even simplistic - terms.  I can see the sense in not spending more than you earn - at the personal, at the organisational and at the national level.


    I also know that the Uk needs to improve its productivity.  The best way the government can help do that is to get the macro-economic climate right, to cut regulation and to invest in infrastructure.


    So, George, what are you doing there?


  • 20 Nov 2015 7:49 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

    Saturday 12th December has been dubbed “Out of Stock Saturday” by logistics analysts Clear Returns, as it will be the day when the largest number of UK retailers’ stock will be tied up in the returns loop and unavailable to buy.  


    They know this as it happens every year.


    So does Christmas!


    Yet peak, seasonal demand seems to surprise many firms each year.


    It seems as though the art of sales forecasting and seasonal adjustment of those forecasts is a lost art. 


    Perhaps I need to change the focus of some of the training I do .... to solve a problem that everyone seems to know will occur, but ono-one seems to prepare for.


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