Efficiency=old thinking. Effectiveness=sound thinking.

Think Different

Ackoff Contrasts Efficiency with Effectiveness

When I’m talking about Rightshifting, folks often ask me to define “effectiveness”, and to explain the difference between “effectiveness” and its often conflated cousin, “efficiency”.  I generally explain Drucker’s take on the question, but just for a change here’s an extract from a paper by Russell L Ackoff:

“Science, technology, and economics focus on efficiency, but not effectiveness. 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…

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