Just a Jaffa Cake away from productivity

Guru feels slighted that the DTI asked Michael Porter to work out why the UK
is less productive than everyone else. Surely there is only one man for the

There are a couple of reasons why Guru would be more suitable. First, he
would be a lot cheaper. Porter reputedly doesn’t get out of bed for less than
£100,000 a day, whereas a strong cup of tea, a Jaffa Cake and £100 are enough
for Guru. Second, Guru knows more about the productivity gap (he has been
avoiding proper work for years).

A better option for Patricia Hewitt might be to check out Personnel Today’s
‘Delivering Strategic HR’ series – it is very informative, and would prevent
her from either having to shell out a lot of taxpayers’ money, or stocking up
on Jaffa Cakes.

Maybe you have got what it takes to be strategic? Last week, Guru’s good
friend Paul Kearns set some incisive questions so you could judge where you sit
on HR’s evolutionary scale – this week it’s time for the silly ones:

1. What do you mean when you use the phrase ‘human capital’?

(a) The salary bill

(b) The amount of untapped talent in your workforce

(c) I don’t know, but I think it sounds good

(d) It doesn’t matter as long as the CEO supports the idea

2. What are the values and guiding principles adopted by your organisation?

(a) Do unto others as they would do unto you

(b) If you can’t hack it, **** off

(c) I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony

(d) Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM

3. Who is the greatest strategic thinker that you try to emulate?

(a) Guru

(b) Niccolo Machiavelli

(c) Gandhi

(d) Michael Porter

(e) David Beckham

(f) Graham Norton

4. What is EVA?

(a) The latest musical that brought Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber back

(b) Economic Value Added

(c) Honda’s new electric powered concept car

(d) The latest designer drug

5. What are your views on unionisation?

(a) Partnership – you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them

(b) The Tolpuddle Martyrs deserved everything they got

(c) They save you the job of having to communicate with your employees

(d) I think they are a great idea – is there a union for personnel officers?

6. Who knows what the HR strategy is?

(a) Don’t ask me, I’m only the HR director

(b) I don’t know – I think you need to ask Sid in the machine shop

(c) The MD says our people are our greatest asset, but that they are bloody

(d) Good question – tell me when you find out

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