We don’t often think about it, but there is a perpetual conflict between efficiency and effectiveness. 

What may bring long term effectiveness is not always efficient in the short run.  Examples:

> It takes time and results in a loss of efficiency when we move an employee to a new position, but in the end it may be the best for the person and organization

> It is less efficient initially to learn a new software program, but will likely be more efficient and effective once past the learning curve

> It requires an investment to do professional development for boards or a staff, making meetings less efficient while training is conducted instead of business, but ultimately the payoff will be great

> It may be inefficient to do tasks such as tagging four years worth of blogs instead of writing new ones, but eventually it makes the archiving and search process much more effective so more people can utilize the resources

There are many more cases where the two dynamics are at odds, leaving it up to you to make an intentional choice of which trade off you are willing to make. Efficiency sounds like a noble aim, but not if it comes at the cost of long term effectiveness. Make that short term sacrifice for long term gain.

— beth triplett

Original concept from consultant Zeddie Bowen, 10/23/14

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: