Could COVID push us harder to address Scotland’s productivity challenge?

Scotland’s productivity has been stagnant for 10 years, and is not getting closer to the top Quartile OECD countries. The impact on our economy from COVID19 are severe and present additional challenges. However, could COVID push us harder to address Scotland’s productivity challenge?

I observe some challenges with our traditional approaches to productivity:

  • We seem to over-complicate productivity. We talk about it and share experiences but don’t deliver tangible changes
  • We often focus on isolated ‘interventions’ to strengthen leadership, improve management systems, or adopt technology
  • We often take a one-size-fits-all approach to any type of business age, maturity or sector.

Think of the productivity improvements we can achieve if we support business to:

  • Simplify discussion about productivity, and deliver prioritised incremental improvements
  • Use data and information to understand the activities that add most value
  • Challenge assumptions about what our customers value. Being good at producing something that no-one wants is not clever
  • Build productivity into the DNA of the business in the same way we consider cashflow, quality, or health & safety.

We need to fix this now more than ever. COVID19 might just make sure we get creative about productivity solutions.

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