Forget Efficiency! It CREATES waste!

Like motherhood, apple pie, or the Fourth of July, “efficiency” is enshrined in our culture as an ultimate good. In fact, questioning whether efficiency might not be good is tantamount to treason in many management circles. Unfortunately, blind devotion to increasing efficiency fails to question the underlying assumption: that the process that one is trying to improve actually is worth doing at all. After observing hundreds of organizations, I have concluded that approximately 50% of the effort inside any organization is waste. Because it does not add value to the ultimate customer. And therefore, instead of being made more efficient, it should be discontinued completely. Let’s create a rather silly example. Let’s assume that your organization has bought a van and hired a driver. You want to use the van and driver efficiently, right? So when there are no deliveries that need to be made, you tell the driver to go out and drive where there is little traffic. This improves at least three measures of efficiency: 1. Van utilization 2. Driver utilization, and 3. Miles per gallon And it is all waste, because nobody needed any deliveries during that time! Laugh if you’d like, but are you sure that nothing like this is happening in your organization? Call me or text me at 971-221-8155, or e-mail me at Gary Langenwalter Portland Consulting Group Helping Organizations Thrive 971-221-8155

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