What happens to the dividend “Innovation, disruptions, technology”?

Respondents in this month’s column cited a number of factors that explain the fact that the rate of increase in human productivity in the United States, despite significant efforts, is not appreciably increased to produce innovations in information and other technologies. Some asked the data. Others have been patient.

David Caulfield plans to improve productivity, but not necessarily to workers. When asked how we measure productivity, he said, “Much of the increase in productivity I see in analysis is focused on making better use of equipment and production materials … It’s difficult to do so in this way However, corporate profits are likely to rise, so it may be a better way to see the impact, GDP per unit of energy is another measure that should be useful Dan Wallace asked if we were “bad.” As an example, he called the sharing economy where we get “better assets and a better customer experience” but not necessarily increased “productivity”. ”

Dave C. pointed out that too many technologies were used to create more variations of the basic ideas faster than savings from new products / platforms / ideas. Donald Shaw quoted “problems in finding qualified employees.” He also said, “It seems to me that our education and government systems can not change fast enough for the US to have the workers it needs in the short term.” Tema Frank went further. “We still rely on the human factor …. Poor human resource management is wasting a lot of productivity.” And Murray Kenney questioned the low productivity gains associated with certain industries, such as the hospitality industry, retail, and increasing education and healthcare. AIM wondered if productivity gains were the right target at all and said, “Productivity gains are always at the expense of humans.”

Others questioned the data documenting the productivity trends. Her position was essentially that no patience was needed. The dividend of productivity takes place. For example, David Wittenberg warned against “careful analysis in the midst of a trend!” … At a global level, the trend continues, although some high-productivity countries have slowed their growth. “Brent Dalager said the situation has rapidly improved with the advent of” software robotics “in areas such as” Financial Services and Telecom “.

Anil Guptes commentary characterized those who insisted on patience. He said, “The computer was created by Babbage in the 18th century … It’s only been in the last 10 to 15 years that we’ve recognized the ubiquitous benefits of the computer – today’s innovations will bring real productivity within half a century or more we have to be patient: are we waiting for the dividend of technological productivity? What do you think?

Original column

For years, the prospects for increased productivity in the United States, such as those accompanying the Industrial Revolution, World War II, and the mid-1950s through mid-1970s, were thrilled. In another productivity model that ran from 1995 to 2005, we speculated in one of these first columns about the possibility that organizations producing new information technologies could anchor a new economy. (Note the capitalization), a strategy that opposes the old productivity, revenue and economic growth increases.

Specialists like Erik Brynholfsson and Andrew McAfee have told us that innovation and new information technologies create a “second age” that would provide an even better future. Others predict that “disruption”, perhaps the most overburdened term in Business English, will boost competition, turn long-term strategic planning into questionable management activity, and bring new ideas to market. more quickly

The fact is that the expected increases in productivity, which are indispensable for wages and economic growth, have not occurred, at least in the US. We’ve been waiting for at least a decade for this new era of information innovation to bear fruit. Why not? Which of the following makes the most sense for you?

The first is the evaluation argument, which states that when measuring productivity gains, factors such as quality of life are not taken into account (though more comfort should be reflected in some way or another in productivity). Others argue that the business climate is not completely correct. The decline in 2000, the recovery, the Great Recession of 2008, and the recovery are so volatile that it is impossible to analyze trends (and constant productivity growth).

A related argument is that growing companies are encouraged to hire more unproductive helpers than to train their employees when the workforce is relatively cheap. A fourth possibility is that some sectors of the economy, especially services, are slowing productivity growth, although our own analysis of productivity trends over the past three decades does not provide consistent evidence in this regard. , Or do not profitable companies today invest much of their profits in new technologies, but pay the profit to the shareholders or hold no cash? Or are too many of our innovations geared to “great apps” that really reduce productivity?

Still others plead for patience. There is a learning curve for every new technology. The use of new information technologies in medicine is one of the strongest evidences supporting this argument. Brynjolfsson and McAfee stress the importance of changing the workforce and introducing new technologies to realize their potential. Give users of new technologies the time to learn, and productivity will increase.

What is really going on here? It’s exciting to hear about innovations (although author Martin Ford speculates about an “unemployed future” resulting from the introduction of robotics). New information-based technologies seem to be very useful. And if your company is still engaged in a long-term strategic planning and is currently not pursuing a disruption strategy, some come to the conclusion that it has already lost the competition.

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