“Firefighting”: the act of putting out fires. There was a day when this word was understood literally, today if we hear this word, we generally don’t envision the flames of a fire but the act of dealing with crises as they arrive. Firefighting has become a frequent addition to our recessionary vocabulary, along with bailout, sub prime, rescue and bankers, all words that pre 2008 were perceived quite differently.
The Question is why is this state of emergency continuing? We are all well aware of the state of the economy, last year we were confused as each time the Minister for Finance spoke to us, the figures he presented differed. This year we know where we stand, we are aware of the enormity of the problem, we know that credit is non existent and getting paid for services is a mammoth task. Apparently the one organisation that should be in control of their finances and those of the whole economy, the Central Bank have also fallen victim to this all too common predicament. I spoke to an economist who works in the Central Bank who told me that he didn’t have enough work to do, that the majority of workers weren’t being used strategically, management were too busy, you guessed it “Firefighting” to plan strategically into the future. Too much reaction and not enough planning and proactive action.
As a member of the public there is very little we can do about the the strategic management in the Central Bank but there is a lot we can do for ourselves, our businesses and the organisations that we work for. Enhanced personal productivity can and will have a great effect not only in your immediate environment but also on the economy as a whole.
Environmental awareness advocates based their campaign on the “Power of One” but boosting Personal Productivity can also use these potent words, if each and every worker in Ireland were to increase their personal output by 10% what impact would it have on the Irish Economy ? Simplistic as it may sound it’s basic economics.
Labour Productivity = ratio of output per unit input (labour hour).
What does that mean? It means that we can measure an individuals productivity by the amount of output per hours of input, and if we increase this output it means that we got more done or we produced more in the time allocated for work. But how can this impact the economy as a whole? Here are a few simple ways that increased productivity can assist in economic recovery.
1. Average Cost of Outputs falls: If you can produce more output in the same time as before, this means the average cost of these outputs falls, and if this reduction in cost is passed onto the consumer, the result is an increase in demand and over time possibly an increase in employment.
2. Improved Competitiveness: If the price of our outputs falls, our products will become more competitive in both domestic and international markets.
3. Higher Profits: Higher profits can result in organisations reinvesting and supporting long term growth and developments
There are many other ways that increased productivity can positively impact economic growth from increased living standard to increases in tax revenue, all that we need to do is our bit!
Start now by taking small steps to increasing your personal productivity.
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