No One Needs Effectiveness

No One Needs Effectiveness

Let’s face it. Few indeed are the executives, managers, investors and even workers who see more effectiveness – more effective ways of working, less waste, quicker delivery, lower costs – as the answer to getting their own personal needs met. As a relevant personal strategy.

Here’s just a few of the needs I’ve seen improved effectiveness meet, on those rare occasions where it has happened:

Affection, appreciation, autonomy, belonging, cooperation, communication, closeness, community, companionship, compassion, consideration, consistency, ego, empathy, inclusion, intimacy, love, mutuality, respect/self-respect, safety, security, stability, support, to know and be known, to see and be seen, to understand and be understood, trust, movement/exercise, safety, authenticity, integrity, presence, joy, humour, beauty, ease, equality, harmony, inspiration, order, choice, freedom, independence, space, spontaneity, awareness, celebration of life, challenge, clarity, competence, consciousness, contribution, creativity, discovery, mastery, artistry, growth, hope, learning, participation, purpose, self-expression, stimulation, to matter, understanding.

Some pay lip-service to effectiveness on behalf of that faceless thing we call “the organisation”. But my own experience tells me their heart is rarely in it.

But the plain fact of the matter is: if folks chose to see increased effectiveness (a.k.a. Rightshifting) as a viable and valid strategy for getting their own and others’ needs met, many more would act to improve effectiveness.

I personally believe awesomely effective organisations are places when folks see their own and their community’s needs met much more often, and to much greater positive effect. Other folks, it seems, do not share this belief.

And this makes me sad. Both for them, for myself, and for the wider world.

(And I could say much the same for nonviolence, restorative justice, therapy, and other lesser-known strategies for better meeting folks’ needs).

Regarding the impact of improved effectiveness as a strategy for getting folks’ needs better met, would you be willing to share what you believe?

– Bob

Further Reading

Ackoff Contrasts Efficiency With Effectiveness ~ Think Different blog post

4 comments
  1. Nick said:

    Yeah for sure. Many only see their needs as being important and benefiting them usually at the expense of others sometimes fortuitously for others. Conditioning to this mindset starts early in life. Some come to realize by the time they are 40 that that conditioning is hurtful on many levels. Lip service is a key phrase. Some rays of hope in some places though.

  2. Reblogged this on taherehbarati and commented:
    I like this post as it highlights this: when there is connection between people in an organization, there is effectiveness. When it is not, no matter what strategies used, it is not. Let’s work on strengthening connection among people within organizations!

  3. Paul Beckford said:

    Most people care about keeping their job. If their job (by design) is ineffective, then they care about maintaining ineffectiveness🙂

    Which brings us to the people who design the work, the leaders, they are exactly the same. Driven by fear and a feeling of insecurity..

    This is the nature of the workplace. If we are talking about how to change that nature, then the change begin insides each one of us. Dee Hock says that leaders should spend 40% of their energies leading themselves. Their ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation, and conduct. Then invest at least 30% managing those with authority over them, and 15% managing their peers. With the rest they should *educe* the same behaviour (by example) in their so called subordinates.

    This is the complete inverse of what we commonly see today. Now if we are talking about changing things, an appeal to effectiveness is likely to fall on death ears, especially once people fully understands what *effectiveness* will actually take!

    My experience has led me to believe that rather then espousing change in others, it is much more rewarding to find ways to develop a positive sense of ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation and conduct within yourself, even when this runs counter to what is going on around you.

    Sort of like the prisoner, who fights to maintain some sense of identity, dignity and self despite the violence and abuse that surrounds them. If you so happens to *educe* the same in others, then so much the better🙂

    • Nick said:

      This is an outstanding reply Paul, at least for me it is🙂 I’ve seen Dee Hock mentioned in a lot of places. I must get round to reading his stuff.

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