Which is better: Efficient or Effective?

One of the buzz words in today's culture is efficiency.  Everyone wants efficiency.  Cars need to be more efficient with their fuel.  Workers need to be more efficient with their time.  Families need to be more efficient with their finances.  But is efficiency really your top priority?

The truth is, efficiency is a very personal goal.  I think the rest of the world is focused on something else: are you effective?  I don't care how fast you do it, I just want it done right!  I don't care how many MPG my car gets if it won't get me where I need to go.

Here's an example.  There are some things that would be done so much faster and more efficient if you just went ahead and did them yourself.  But if you take time to mentor/coach a volunteer or a staff member, then in the end the organization will be a lot more effective.  Don't just look for the easiest, fastest way out.  Determine that effectiveness is more important than efficiency. Personally, I don't do what I do to be efficient, but to be effective.

Can those 2 things co-exist?  Of course.  But too many times in a rushed society people can sacrifice effectiveness for efficiency.  Efficiency says, "Let's see how much we can do, how many things we can check off the list today, regardless of quality, future development, or how we are getting better as an organization."  Now do you see why efficiency can be overrated? Efficiency focuses on the process, but effectiveness focus on the end product.  I tell my staff this often: I'm a lot less concerned with how you do it, who does it, or when you do it; just make sure it gets done.

Remember, in the end you are not here to be liked.  You are not here to be efficient.  You are here to be effective.  If you don't believe me, ask your boss.

1 comment:

Angela Jenkins said...