What is efficiency tunnel vision?
Efficiency is great. It’s great for squeezing all the available juice out of your operations and something organizations strive for when working in a simple or complicated environment.
It isn’t great for innovation, however, and isn’t something you should strive for in a complex environment.
Organizations need to have a strong focus on execution, and they need to balance that with a need to innovate and create.
Efficiency lives in the domain of execution whilst innovation lives in the domain of complexity.
You don’t know what you don’t know and so you are figuring things out and building momentum as you move forward. You’re looking to the team to be effective rather than efficient in the world of complexity and innovation.
You want to help the team focus on being more effective, more adaptive and more responsive in a complex environment.
Efficiency tunnel vision happens when you are trying to squeeze as much out of your metaphorical cow as possible, without realising that your cow may be running out of milk or that a completely new product/service is required.
“The more righter you do the wrong thing, the more wrong you become.” – Russell Ackoff
You can have the most efficient team on earth but if you are building a product that nobody wants, it won’t help your organization in the least bit. You’ll simply be great at building the wrong thing.
If you are doing the right thing but are doing it wrong, you can at least step back and figure out how to do things better. You can review, reflect and make decisions as a team on how best to build on the information and data you have to produce better products and services that people want.
Inspect and adapt.
So, we need to focus more on effectiveness.
If you want efficiency, choose Lean. If you want Agile, that will help you with effectiveness and adaptiveness.
There are other approaches, such as product management, that you can employ but you will find that your focus will move away from efficiency and into the realm of effectiveness, regardless of the framework you choose for product development.
Be careful with efficiency tunnel vision, it can prevent your team from focusing on the right work.
John Coleman has deep experience and expertise working with executives, #leadership teams and product development teams to achieve increased #businessagility and create environments where creativity and collaboration produce high-performance teams.
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