In the interests of efficiency, I am keeping this post short; however, it will be effective.
Some definitions will start the process of deciding if your efficiency is effective.
Efficiency: noun – the state or quality of being efficient.
Efficient: adjective – working in a well-organized and competent way.
Effective: adjective – successful in producing a desired or intended result.
It’s entirely possible to work in a well organised and competent way without producing the desired result for all sorts of reasons. Bing Crosby sung about being busy; the first two and last two lines are particularly relevant.
We’re busy doin’ nothin’
Workin’ the whole day through
Never do, never do, never do have the time
Never do have the time
Being busy and being efficient isn’t the most important thing in business, being effective is. Being lazy and doing things in a very roundabout way will not generate great results, so busy and efficient are important, but they are trumped by effective.
To be effective (producing a desired result) obviously requires you to know what result you want and how to get there, and that is where things get tricky. You need to know what is important and what measures to use.
Here is a theoretical example: A meal delivery service launched having done plenty of research and found that the key elements customers wanted were consistently high-quality food and reliable delivery. Testing with customers showed that the meals rated highly for quality. The company invested in software to calculate the optimum route and sequence for deliveries. The delivery system was super-efficient. The drivers were happy, as they were paid per item delivered and could deliver lots of items in a day, and the customers received their meals on time. Initially everything went well then, the company started to loose customers. There were no complaints about quality, price or delivery and surveys show these were not issues. The company arranged some focus groups to see what was going on. “Your food is just as good as xxxxxx and so is the delivery, I prefer xxxxxx because Andre the driver always asks how I am, and we have a little chat”. The drive for efficiency had driven that ‘nice’ part of the customer experience out of the equation compromising effectiveness. Slack in the delivery process was a necessary element of providing an effective solution; happy customers.
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