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Efficiency V Effectiveness

Nov 29, 2011

Time to read: 45 seconds

When I am at my office I often get asked if I want a cup of tea by the friendly co-workers sharing the space. I tend to turn the offer down. I head to the kitchen to make my own tea as an when I need it.

On the face of it this is inefficient as I could be working whilst someone makes my tea.
However it is effective as I get to have a break from my computer, have a drink when I actually need it, and often have randomly useful conversations at the kettle.

The difference between efficient and effective is an important one to consider. The drive for efficiency is obviously important, but it often has the unforeseen impact on effectiveness.

Multi tasking seems efficient, until you make that critical mistake because you were not really paying attention.

Listening to someone whilst checking your computer or phone seems like a good idea until your staff leave because “you don’t really listen to them”

Running on a skeleton staff works until sickness hits and you lose that big order because you can’t deliver.

I am not saying you shouldn’t try to be efficient, only that it’s important to make sure you are being effective as well. Sometimes doing the right thing is inefficient, but effective.

I’m off to make myself a cup of tea. How about you?

If you are interested in developing your leadership or creating more effective teams we would love to have a conversation.

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