productivity

Gaming Enters the Workplace. . . . As a Productivity Tool

Gaming Enters the Workplace. . . . As a Productivity Tool

Gaming is coming to a workplace near you.  And, based upon its description in a recent New York Times piece, it may be an important boost for productivity, while not all that much fun: BetterWorks makes office software that blends aspects of social media, fitness tracking and video games into a system meant to keep […]

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Designing Innovative Work Spaces

Designing Innovative Work Spaces

We get asked all kinds of questions about innovation.  Over a decade ago, we were asked to recommend an approach to designing R&D spaces for a Fortune 100 firm.  After a fairly extensive research effort, we recommended the approach you seen in the diagram to the right.  We found that innovative spaces were spaces that […]

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Why Does the US have a manufacturing skills gap?

Why Does the US have a manufacturing skills gap?

This is something we’ve discussed previously.  The Wall Street Journal has yet another piece lamenting the skills gap in manufacturing and our society’s inability to address it: The Obama administration and governors from Michigan to North Carolina have a solution for some of the U.S. manufacturing sector’s woes: German-style apprenticeship programs. But their success is […]

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The Interaction Between Technological Innovation & Socio-economic Status

The Interaction Between Technological Innovation & Socio-economic Status

A recent New York Times article documented how the rise of innovative scheduling technology is affecting low-wage employment across the US: Along with virtually every major retail and restaurant chain, Starbucks relies on software that choreographs workers in precise, intricate ballets, using sales patterns and other data to determine which of its 130,000 baristas are […]

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A Major Revival in US Productivity?

A Major Revival in US Productivity?

Robert Gordon and others to the contrary, the Economist‘s Free Exchange blogger thinks machine learning technology may finally trigger a significant boom in US productivity: Initial gains from IT were simply too small to affect productivity statistics, because the affected part of the economy was simply too small. When the contribution became large enough to […]

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Despite Tuition Inflation, a College Degree is still a Good Invesment

Despite Tuition Inflation, a College Degree is still a Good Invesment

That’s the results of recent research by several economists.  The New York Times’ David Leonhardt has the story: According to a paper by [MIT Economist David] Autor published Thursday in the journal Science, the true cost of a college degree is about negative $500,000. That’s right: Over the long run, college is cheaper than free. […]

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