UnLocking productivity


© Hartswood Films/Sherlock                         Jim Moriaty in reflective mode

On this first anniversary of the Brexit vote, we dare to reflect elsewhere.

Lack of productivity is said to be a problem. Hoodathort?

Hoodathort restricting freedoms by funneling innate human resources into ever tighter, more myopic perspectives or conjuring up ever-more mean-spirited procedural strictures would have so siphoning an impact, so draining of scintillation?


On the first day of my formal working life, a couple of colleagues took me out for a drink at lunchtime – yes, in those days it was the norm – and cautioned the City’s two drivers were fear and greed. I don’t suppose other places are immune to these values; but let’s take fear as the more interesting.

Fear of what? Saying/Doing/Feeling/Believing the wrong thing? Of being unmasked/misunderstood/mis-judged/ under- or over-estimated/mis-directed? Strikes me that the paralysis which fear invokes is a greater drain on resources – intellectual, commercial, emotional, psychological – than Asian Flu or some equally ghastly, non-fatal global horror.

If employers desire their people to stride out into commercial Nirvana, they must be given the freedom to imagine and to make mistakes. The Post-It Note emerged as a result of too much or little – I forget which – sticky stuff tipped into a pot. No-one died, the company didn’t fold as a result of disproportionate ingredient evacuation: no. Something miraculous happened and profits at 3M shot through transcendence into the noumenal sphere.

Giving people their head demonstrates trust and respect for their abilities and would transform corporate morale, hence productivity, at a stroke.

If you’re that decision-maker, try it and see. I dare you.


For your nostalgic amusement, here’s what we posted as a result of last year’s poll. Come what May