Greetings dear friends & welcome to my world again this week. Many may recall my opening comment last weekend; tis the Mako season & this weekend back to Auckland for the final. We have been in this position five of the last seven years with only one win & as I understand Auckland have won the championship 18 times… We were but the minnows, certainly not favourites going into the game. However, another tremendous result & the basis for my inspiration again this week.
There have been a number of recent reports from the Productivity Commission just released, & one point made by the new Productivity Commissioner Bill Rosenburg suggests the estimates of our labour productivity is now -40% below the average of the top half in the OECD, with no sign of catching up. One of the answers apparently is to create more innovation. However, perhaps a reason what firms identify as innovation often leads not to increased productivity, rather doing more of the same.
Engaged workers, participating in decisions & making full use of their skills & knowledge of their work, are as important to productivity as health & safety. There are many strategies we can use to address our poor productivity record. Often, they require new ways of thinking & doing. However, we should remember the connection in all aspects is not automatic & needs to be integrated into the approaches we take.
I thought the following story I found may provide a useful analogy. One day a grandfather told his grandchildren the story of how he went to live in America. He told about the trains & ship which took him from his home in Eastern Europe. He told of being processed along with other immigrants, & how he had gone to a cafeteria to get something to eat.
He had sat down at an empty table & waited a long time for someone to take his order, but nobody came. Finally, a woman with a tray of food sat down opposite him & explained how a cafeteria works. ‘You start at the end’, she said, pointing towards a stack of trays. ’Then you go along the food line & pick out what you want.. At the other end they will tell you how much you have to pay.’
The grandfather reflected for a moment & said, ‘I soon learned this is how everything works. Life is a cafeteria here. You can get anything you want ~ even very great success ~ if you are willing to pay the price. But you will never get what you want if you wait for someone to bring it to you. You have to get up & get it yourself.’
The difference between where you are right now & where you want to be can be summed up in two words ~ hard work! If we want to succeed success will not drop into your lap. We are blessed by all the work of our hands. Countless hours, persistent effort & constant improvement make the difference between ambition & success.
I suspect this may very well have been the differential between our Tasman Mako & Auckland last Saturday night. In lifting the performance of the team, the wider outcome performance was better while those behind the productivity frontier would benefit from the exposure to excellence.
I hope my comments each week are helpful dear readers; & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes.