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There has been a long period of “installation” during which investments in finance, strategy, science, technology, marketing, and talent have not shown productivity gains overall. The cautious optimism described by Bart van Ark in his lastest blog points to the possibility that “greater investment in machinery and equipment—as well as spending on innovation and automation—may raise productivity further and help pay for higher wages as labor markets begin to tighten.” This also frees money to further invest in growth!
However, as observed, “The improved productivity measures… are no guarantee of success.” We want to underscore the need for broad, coordinated efforts that must include CFOs, CSOs, and innovation and business leaders who are paying attention to both productivity and growth results. Those stepping up will want to be aware of the upcoming US–Japan Business Leaders Forum on Productivity.