Having a Healthy Fear of Efficiency

by Brad Garland

Efficiency is described in the dictionary as "effective operation as measured by a comparison of production with cost (as in energy, time, and money)". It's one of those concepts that have an affinity towards, trying to find the most effective and efficient process in business, my personal life, and beyond. However, I've also learned to have an effective amount of fear towards efficiency as well. Let me share with you some things we're trying to do to become more efficient.

As a company, we've been spending time discussing improvements to our reporting. Questions like, "What's the most efficient way to deliver our reports timely to our clients?" or "What is the most efficient way for the consultants to complete the executive summary reports faster?". These are really great questions that need to arise when trying to scale a business to one that is servicing numerous clients, sometimes in the very same week. But even though an efficient process can be a great thing for a business we don't want it to come at the sacrifice of the customers experience. If we can shave a couple hours off our internal process but deliver reports (or an overall experience) that also feels "efficient", I believe, we miss the mark. This makes solving these problems even harder but also more rewarding because if you can execute well and the customer walks away feeling great then, and only then, was it worth it.