Sunday, April 19, 2015

Productivity Gains: A Time Aggregate Perspective

Could personal "bests" for greater productivity, play a role in the potential of group "bests"? Through the establishment of a marketplace for time value, group based productivity gains would indeed be possible. When it comes to personal productivity, schedule management and the ability to say "no" (to requests beyond time capacity) are quite helpful for individual productivity. But how might one apply these same principles to the bigger (economic) picture? Shane Parrish has advice that is quite relevant:
When you schedule things, you are forced to deal with the fact that there are only so many hours in a week. You're forced to make choices, rather than add something to a never ending to-do list that only becomes a source of anxiety.
When scheduling patterns are mostly organized through exogenous means, many individuals and groups are left with inadequate time for either productive resource use or interpersonal coordination. In particular, externally defined time use is not capable of coordinating services distribution for aggregate supply and demand. Indeed, there have been shifts in public attitude towards government redistribution - in part because redistribution can't adequately address the need for better coordinated time use aggregates.

Because of problems in this regard, government programs have the feel of a never ending to-do list that has - yes - become a source of broad based anxiety. What's more, the struggle for public representation is slowly being lost, one well meaning government program at a time. It's time to give lower income levels and others among the marginalized, a chance to approach service formation from a different perspective. The same calendaring methods which can assist individuals, have the capacity to assist groups as well. Communities with knowledge use systems would create yearly calendars with a series of overlapping schedules, so that a marketplace for time value becomes possible.

What about the need to say "no"? Even as present day service providers need to say no to excessive government demands, so too does everyone else, in terms of unnecessary service deficiencies. Just say "no" to the hand wringing and consternation that is routinely taken on behalf of the marginalized, and establish means that allow these groups to help themselves. Knowledge use needs to be a unifying bridge for human potential, instead of a weapon which arbitrarily divides mental, social and economic capacity.

This approach would ultimately defuse arguments regarding divisions in personal ability. In the alternate equilibrium of a knowledge use system, personal "best" matters not just for personal gain, but also for group gains. In primary equilibrium, many citizens remain unable to access a multitude of services which are important to them.  It is imperative that multiple skills levels are brought into the larger equation, as government budgets gradually become more constrained. A recent Washington Post article stresses another aspect of this issue:
"Some people feel that if you show the brain differences you're politically condemning the poor," Gabrieli said. "Which is the opposite, I think, of what we need to do. I think we want to understand adversity and minimize adversity."
There are many ways that adversity can still be minimized, and creating a more substantial services marketplace would be a centerpiece of the process. While efforts to improve childhood circumstance are praiseworthy, they do not address what happens in the economic realities of adulthood, once those early efforts have been completed. One way to make certain that childhood efforts bear fruit, is to strengthen local work life connections between children and adults through knowledge use systems. By placing these work life connections into a local time aggregate perspective, substantial productivity gains can ultimately be realized.

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