Business productivity remains something of an enigma. While almost all others elements of business efficacy can be measured easily, the productivity of a country is complex, open to a wide range of interpretation and difficult to significantly improve.

Productivity relates to how much is produced per working hour. When viewed at a national level, it is one area that offers the UK a real opportunity for improvement and it is where we lag significantly behind our main competitors including the USA, Germany and even France, whose labour practices are more restrictive.

There are many areas that we could focus on but I think three of the most important are as follows.

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1) Developing management practices that unleash the potential of the work force.

Over the last few decades, management practices in some areas have become more enlightened. They have reduced micromanagement and focussed on a flatter structure that allows much more flexibility for the staff in terms of where and when they work, the level of formality imposed and developing environments that stimulate creativity. The rewards for most companies have been outstanding.

It is true that many traditional industries that include production line work or large scale construction make this type of management more challenging, with countries like India and China possessing a work force who are more tolerant of older practices. The UK, however, has developed more in the banking, education, science, IT and entertainment sectors that produce great economic results and fit this newer style well.

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It is certainly a point worth considering moving forward.

2) Effective Transportation

Transportation in the UK is becoming more of an issue annually. The population conservatively estimated to be 65 million is too high and in areas of the country, gridlock is an everyday problem. Hideous traffic congestion on the M25, M6, M1as well as in London and other major conurbations is unsustainable and holds industry back. Some infrastructure projects are ongoing but they will probably be outdated by the time they are completed. High-Speed rail, the Northern Powerhouse and the new London runway to quote but three examples. They are beset by opposition and indecisiveness and contribute on a large scale to the productivity issues besetting the UK. Controlling future immigration, moving more goods to rail and using round the clock construction to speed up large motorway improvements are some of the obvious steps that need to be adopted urgently.

3) Identifying what work is essential and valuable and removing work that's not

The identification of work that is both needed and profitable, is an area in which the UK is particularly poor.

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This challenge can be identified in both where and how organisations as a whole are choosing to work, as well as how efficiently staff are working within those organisations.

Just after the financial crisis that began in 2008 the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition were elected and as a priority identified that work focus needed to fundamentally shift from public services to the private sector. Many council and other public sector jobs were removed and new companies were started. This allowed a long, slow recovery to begin in the UK with the unsustainable deficit being cut and plans to start to reduce the debt put in place. Events have forced this program to slow but the course must be adhered to. A debt of nearly £2 trillion pounds is wholly unsustainable, requires enormous interest repayments each year and is an unfair burden to place on future generations.

Within small companies, there is minimum pretend work allowed to go on. The simple reason is that they will become bankrupt quickly if all staff are not producing work that is of value. In larger companies, the waste is easier to spot. Equality and Diversity Officers, Environmental Monitoring Officers, Union officials, banks of administrators, Advertising and Promotion Officers, Management Consultants, Awareness Training Officers and hosts of others stalk large premises. Some of these roles may be useful in moderation, but there is no moderation and each role has to be carried by the workforce directly involved in production or delivery. To deliver effective production each organisation and each person within the organisation must be delivering goods or services that are needed by the population or can be sold abroad, to reverse our negative balance of trade position in the world economy.

Delivering a brighter, more prosperous future than ever before

Trading primarily with the EU made things easier for the UK companies in the past because the very nature of that organisation made EU businesses slow to adapt and bureaucratic. Soon we shall hopefully enter the world trading economy. We have fantastic opportunities to thrive but to do so we must effectively reform the three points above to be more productive and more competitive. I believe this country can and will deliver on this and when we do we will see the UK accelerate in wealth as a nation beyond anything we have known previously. #World Trade