Productivity Improvement on “The Agenda” Oct. 16/15

Filename: ProductivityAgendaOct17
Date: 16 Oct 15
By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington, ON L7R 2B5
905 634 9538
For: Steve Paikin
Re: “Productivity” last evening

GM Steve

I reject the ageism idea. I am 90 and have been an innovator all my life. You catch me experimenting with a new aerodynamics idea. I now do in my back yard tests which once required me to launch a 14-foot motorboat and go out on Lake Ontario. My boast is that I can do for one dollar what costs Boeing a million and me at one time a thousand. I am applying productivity improvement to productivity improvement!

Points re tonight’s program:

1. Cite a “rule” and explain how it promotes productivity. I don’t get it.

2. Behind productivity improvement lies innovation, and behind innovation lies creativity, which cannot, I think, be legislated or promoted by “rules”. Creativity is suppressed by the education system, a fact demonstrated by the U. of Southern California, decades ago.

3. Proposals re productivity improvement, when they struggle through, are often furiously opposed by folk who

(a) do not understand (e.g. 53% of Canadian adults are innumerate or illiterate – StatsCan), or

(b) fear change, are deeply committed to the status quo, or

(c) are smothered by bureaucratic inertia or

(d) are anti-science (as the current Canadian government appears to be along with growing numbers of media and other folk).

To illustrate #3 above: I converted the black art of scheduling production in a heavy-machinery manufacturing plant (Westinghouse Canada) to a mathematical base, proved it in a large factory, and wrote a book about it called in the profession “a breakthrough” (Increased profits through better control of work in process, Reston Publishing 1980). Improved profits, shorter cycle times, 50% inventory reductions, reduced scrap and rework resulted. The system has had only scattered use, and it has become clear that reasons (a) and (b) are mainly to blame, despite the fact that the “mathematics” involved is 20% simple arithmetic and 80% logic. Our education system must bear a heavy responsibility for this.

Steve, put the above before tonight’s experts and devote a program to their responses, particularly regarding creativity, and you will perform a notable public service.


Frank Gue


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