This is one of the dimensions of operations that we discuss at length with our clients, and the least I can say is that it is extremely difficult to determine the “fine line” between the two:
Efficiency is about doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things. It’s all about maximizing the relation between money and time.
We at Globalpraxis measure the difficulty of combining the two. We have seen all too often the two words mixed with drastic cost-cutting, leading to catastrophic results. There is a certain inertia in most companies – specifically the big ones – to cut costs and when cost-cutting becomes extreme, the consequences are usually felt for a long time afterwards… and are even more difficult to correct.
I was recently discussing the matter with the CEO of a major FMCG company. He was anxious to understand how and where to find the right balance. My answer to him was that we had to spend time and effort on first understanding the facts: About his local environment, his market footprint; the facts about the final “picture-of-success” of his offer in the market place and how to get there. The fact about the ability of the organization to deliver that picture-of-success.
Doing the right things, i.e., being effective, is the basis of success. It is measured by the organization’s ability to execute the marketing strategy as precisely as possible. Putting products or services in danger to be sold. Ultimately, this is the only real measure of success.
The time taken to do this correctly and professionally is much more valuable and constructive than that focused only on cost-cutting. It generates the value that all stakeholders are expecting. We see this outcome repeatedly among our clients.