Free Ideas to Boost Productivity?

February 24, 2010 Blog 4 comments

Courtesy of Learning By Doing

To heed the country’s latest call to increase productivity, help entrepreneurs and managers everywhere, and satisfy my own need for intellectual stimulation, I wonder if its useful to start an online forum to discuss ideas to increase productivity.

This could be a way for all of us to contribute our share of ideas, innovations, and suggestions towards the national cause. Such a forum could also be used to clarify misconceptions on productivity (for example that we should all work 18 hours a day), or to build upon each other’s plans in a (hopefully) constructive manner.
We can approach this from various perspectives – as entrepreneurs, managers, workers, shareholders, consultants or customers. Over time, it could form an avenue for the vigorous and robust discussion and debate on the productivity question in an objective and professional manner.

To kick off this idea, let me start by proposing two ideas of my own on how productivity can be boosted in the office:

1) Reduce the number of meetings that you have to attend a day to those that are absolutely critical. If you do have to attend one, ensure that you contribute to the discussion rather than fall asleep during the lengthy discourses!

2) Follow up rigorously after discussions with clients, work associates, or suppliers, with a short email on the key succinct points of the meeting and next steps immediately (or as soon as possible) after the meeting. If possible, nail down deadlines and timelines as precisely as possible, as well as specific accountabilities.

What do you guys think of this idea?

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.


  1. Stop aping the successful.

    Best practices are best only for the, usually unstated and unmeasurable, context where they were measured or deemed as best. For example imagine Singapore best practices in the civil service to work in Malaysia.

    The world will have only one Microsoft and one Google.

    The next big thing is unknown and unknowable.

    Success is unique. Failure is common.

    Key failure factors have statistical validity. Key success factors are fictional.

    We cannot be Milan or London or Paris – we can ape them and seems to be like them, only superficially, for we cannot really be something we are not – we have to be Singapore, uniquely Singapore. However whether being Singapore makes money or not, is a different matter.

    But we have to start at the hard but right place, and not try to be smart and try to short cut here and there, like the flawed golden parachute model of the civil service.

    The productivity focus of the budget will fail for it wants to make the Singapore worker smart; for the problem is that we are already too smart for any real good.

  2. I think it is a great idea to come up with an idea forum. People are going to have to check their egos at the door, which might be a difficult task. I would certainly check it out and make frequent visits to see what’s going on.

  3. Good topic. I was thinking of the same.

    The thing is, I am not sure which area our government means when they mention that we are lacking in productivity. The example given was on the construction industry with our foreign workers’ productivity measured against other countries. That is quite a different topic.

    Back to meeting ideas, my wife’s company has quite an interesting practice. No meeting should be scheduled for more than half an hour slot. That forces people to be more focus I guess.

  4. Great Topic. Most people just feel so overwhelmed by the amount of work that is needed to achieve.

    I found that time management and setting goals has been the one definitive thing that has made my business much more successful.

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