Sunday, August 15, 2010

Economics and Productivity.

I am not an expert in the body of so-called knowledge that is known as Economics. It should be unsurprising to those who read this blog that I also find the order of economic dogma a barrier to economic growth. (The post that follows should give enough clue as to the issues the organization that is "Economics" faces. Economics is far too much the study of itself rather than that of economies. This will not be the last time I touch upon this matter.)  My interests and my own body of expertise derive from wanting to understand economies and sustainable economic growth.

Let me put this bluntly. Economies grow despite economists. Before I get hate mail from economists, I am saying this in their own best interests. I am NOT one of those wing-nuts that have this thing against economists. I just have a thing against "Economics".

It's helpful to know that Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources. It's helpful to know that economics is not economies. Economists study economics, they do not do economics. "Economics" suffers from a desire to be too much about mathematics and order, the illusionary allure of the structure of physics. "Economics" isn't enough about living systems, the chaotic nature of life and evolution, and that all life is economics. Or, that is, economies. All life acquires and develops systems of allocating scarce resources. Life grows by the natural product output of that process. It's helpful to know it's not a neat, orderly process. It's order and chaos.

Whether you really understand this or not is not entirely important--that's my job--but rather that you see it and acknowledge it.
These are part of a general awareness on the path to making yourself, your organization more productive, more adaptive, and taking the lead in your chosen field of business. This is part of expanding your perspective. This is part of expanding your mind.
This, my friends, my fellow tribe members, is where we gain productivity.

Productivity flattens if we standardize what it is we do. Standardization is great, it is the repetition of tasks that has a degree of requisition that enables your organization to function.
The problem is, if you can do it, so can anybody, any other organization. You will find degrees of marginal improvement, but there is--as the economists say--the curve of diminishing returns.

Of course, your business, your organization has, does, and will find innovations to make marked improvements in the overall productivity of what it does.
I mean, you're pretty damn good at what you do, you run a pretty good business. It is what you do. Or, you provide productivity for a business. It's your job.

What I want to do is take you and your organization to the next level. That is how I create value and productivity. I also know that if I create a tribe of people who share these goals of self improvement, who want to lead rather than follow, grow rather than stagnate, and we create and nurture and cohesive sense of team around that, we'll have  gained far more than if we take this journey separately.

From the outside looking in, it is in many ways much easier for me to see where both people and organizations can develop sizable gains in productivity and value.
I see huge amounts of untapped, under used, misunderstood intellectual, knowledge and social capital.

Economic growth is bumping into the limits of the organizational structure and imagination that was developed and evolved from the mechanization of the industrial era. The concept of productivity is mired in the mindset of that era.

The modern economy (the so-called "new economy") will have constraints on it's growth until more and more organizations and the people that make them function adapt the mindset of  living systems.

The limits to economic growth and productivity are not in our abilities or knowledge base, it is in our minds and imagination. It is in our inability to adapt new organizational models.

We have to break through those mental barriers, the limits we are putting on ourselves. The quality of life for those now, and in the future depend upon it.

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