From Chris Dillow:
Nick Bloom and colleagues have estimated (pdf) that over a third of the gap in total factor productivity between the UK and US is due to inferior management. Some of this gap might be closed if only managers were more aware of best practice. In this context, the very fact that the UK’s productivity is lower than the G7 average is, in a sense, encouraging. It means we don’t need new innovations to boost productivity; we simply need to learn what the French, Germans and Americans are doing.
This is cheering, partly because it brings together a couple of things that Arbitrary Constant has bashed on about in the last few weeks:
- Very little can truly be thought of as ‘innovative’, and knowing how we get from innovative to ‘best practice’ to ‘improvement’ to ‘standard’ in public services is what matters
- Clearly related to this, we should never ignore the little things (even if that just means making meetings better)