The pursuits of efficiency and effectiveness are important functions of organization leadership. But the singular pursuit of one invariably leads to the abandonment of the other.  This is best explained by the following three statements.

1. All things being equal, efficient is better than inefficient.

2. All things being equal, effective is better than ineffective

3. All things are never equal.

For example, it would be efficient to educate students by cramming as many as can fit into a room and show them instructional videos on a big screen. Mass instruction is provided with a minimal expenditure of resources. 

Effective? No. Efficient? Most definitely.

It would be effective to educate students individually. Each student gets her own certified teacher for one-on-one instruction. All day, every day.  Provide the teacher working one-on-one with the student access to all the instructional resources necessary to maximize the educational attainment of her one student. Maximum student performance is provided with significant expenditure of resources.

Efficient? No. Effective? Yes.

The art is to find the balance. The intersection of the two curves, the point where both efficiency and effectiveness are in stasis. Do this and you won’t be a political darling (the current crop of politicians being proponents of school financial efficiency, human costs be damned). You won’t be a media darling (the media loves the group of kids that widely exceed expectations story, who cares if the results can be replicated). 

Instead what you will be is a true agent of meaningful change.  Building an organization that invests resources, adds value and enhances the lives of many.

Visit Classrooms…  Beat Cancer!

Your turn…

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