I have defined the purpose of The Effectiveness Exchange as:
‘Promoting and sharing views, news, practice and thinking about organisational effectiveness’
A better way – a different perspective
Much of the improvement activity in services organisations today has been captured by efficiency approaches. I want to add another voice to promote, share views and news of effectiveness practice in organisations.
Towards a definition of effectiveness and efficiency
To help explain what I mean by effectiveness and to differentiate it from efficiency Peter Drucker’s articulation is a good start.
‘There’s a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing’
The late Russell Ackoff, citing and extending Drucker’s view of the difference wrote that:
‘The difference between efficiency and effectiveness is important to an understanding of transformational leadership. Efficiency is a measure of how well resources are used to achieve ends; it is value-free. Effectiveness is efficiency weighted by the values of the ends achieved; it is value-full. For example, a men’s’ clothing manufacturer may efficiently turn out suits that do not fit well. Another less efficient manufacturer may turn out suits that do fit well. Because “fit” is a value to customers, the second manufacturer would be considered to be the more effective even though less efficient than the first. Of course, a manufacturer can be both efficient and effective.’
Ackoff outlines the effectiveness perspective as one of value created to and for customers. To produce suits that fit requires organisations to get knowledge about what fits. Getting knowledge requires learning. If there is no learning, it is unlikely that there is effective practice. And in one of the great sayings Ackoff went on to distil the need for effectiveness first as crucial to any organisation.
‘The curious thing is the righter you do the wrong thing the wronger you become. If you’re doing the wrong thing and you make a mistake and correct it you become wronger. So it’s better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right.’
As more content is added and the site grows, I invite the transformation, change and Improvement community to contribute to an effectiveness dialogue with discussions around practice and results.
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