Efficiency is king! or is it?

06/21/2011

Efficiency is all about doing things right. It is concerned with the current state and making activities as optimal as possible with minimum waste.

It requires repetition and constant measurement and is focused on perfecting processes and steps.

The obvious danger of striving for maximum efficiency to the exclusion of all else is that you may end up doing the wrong things. There is small consolation in doing those things very, very well.

Peter Drucker famously said “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

Imagine: You are at a train station and realize you are late for a critical appointment. You efficiently dodge the other commuters, rush down the platform and jump on the next train pulling out of the station. Great job … until you realize that you are on the wrong train!

Oops.

That’s a pretty obvious case of efficiency going awry. Next time, we’ll talk about a more subtle danger of blind adherence to the goal of efficiency.

Thanks for reading – see you soon!

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