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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Effective and/or Efficient?

I once worked in an organization that espoused as one of its primary goals the deployment of “effective and efficient” operations.  I loved it!  We clearly articulated for the world our intent to conduct business using only the best practices known to man, and to do it all in the most cost efficient manner.  Who could argue with that?

I have since learned that there is a frequently occurring phenomenon in which effective and efficient don’t dovetail so nicely.   How should we respond when an "or" seems to bump the "and" as the conjunction in that "effective and efficient" phrase?

When effectiveness and efficiency seem to knock heads with each other instead of playing seamlessly together, our default position must fall to the effectiveness side of that ledger.

Here’s why…

Slavery to efficiency models has the effect of diminishing the human element (the relationship management processes) in organizations.  Effectiveness almost always entails activating the very best that humans have to offer, which rarely happens without huge investments in the nurturing and development of relationships.  Those things take time and effort, which obviously runs contrary to the purist of efficiency models.

Effective should always trump efficient (if they can’t play nicely together, that is).


  1. In looking back over your most recent posts, I'm struck by the lack of comments. I intend to read back into time in your blogspot, but want to encourage you to continue to post your thoughts, observations, and reflections. I see a book developing. I know that your posts are not intended for the 'feedback' comments, but for purposeful reflection on a life well lived. I appreciate your encouragement and in turn encourage you to live a life of expectancy, rather than in expectation. Keep on!

    1. Thanks for the feedback and encouragement, Dan. Most of the comments I get in relation to my blog occur through Facebook, as I share the blog through that portal (and Twitter) each day. Another book is on the way, though the blogging is at the behest of my lovely bride, who insisted that I need to express myself almost daily, IN LIMITED WORDS (ah, there's the challenge). Keep your thoughts coming...


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