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Confronting the Productivity Challenge

For 250 years, consistent improvements in productivity have created an engine for economic growth, greater prosperity and better standards of living.

November 8, 2019
Riddel Hall, Queen's University Belfast
14:00 - 16:00
By invitation

Since the Global Financial Crisis, that two-and-a-half century winning streak has stalled: productivity has flat-lined. Productivity – how to generate it and sustain it – constitutes one of the most complex and serious challenges facing both enterprise and public policy.

For businesses, productivity is a driver of profits and a catalyst of scale and growth within businesses. The lack of strategic focus on productivity improvement holds back many companies: repeated failure to invest, or to deploy technology are two of the most serious problems. Yet, the challenge is not only about investment and technology deployment: commentators also point to the need to develop managerial culture and practices as equally important in delivering productivity improvements. How can business leaders ensure that their managers are suitably equipped for this task?

For policymakers, a different but complementary set of considerations are at play. A broad range of policy factors relating to investment, innovation, technology, enterprise, and skills are linked to productivity growth. How can policymakers stimulate innovation ecosystems, whilst enabling businesses to leverage subsequent breakthroughs?

This is the grand challenge that we will be addressing in this next LRI Roundtable event. The event offers the opportunity to consider what business leaders and policymakers can do to address the challenge of low productivity and discuss related issues such as the future of work and the role of business schools and universities in driving innovation and improvements in management education that positively affect productivity.

Keynote speaker: Andy Haldane (Chief Economist, Bank of England)

Chair of roundtable: Kevin Lynch (former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet of the Canadian government)

Participants: Nick Crafts (University of Warwick), Diane Coyle (University of Cambridge), Andy Haldane (Bank of England), Angela McGowan (CBI), and David Paulson (Queen’s University Belfast)

About the LRI

The LRI connects academic experts with business and policy decision makers to uncover how long-run forces connect to present and future challenges facing your organization.

The LRI is supported by The Centre for Economic and Business History at Queen’s University Belfast and Signal Influence Executive Research & Communications, Inc. (SIERC) a boutique consulting firm specializing in the strategic application of organizational experience for senior leadership.

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