Could Focusing Too Much on Efficiency Hurt Your Business and Your Career?

Home » Could Focusing Too Much on Efficiency Hurt Your Business and Your Career?

Most companies focus on doing things faster and cheaper than before – are you saying this isn’t the best strategy?

Many managers are using the rifle approach – focusing on how to deliver their products and services faster, better and cheaper. This nose to the grindstone approach can be detrimental to the business in the long term if you miss the opportunity to innovate, reinvent your business and grow new revenue streams. Make sure that a significant amount of effort is focused externally on the marketplace and not always inward creating conflict and competition within your organization.

While the record companies were busy fighting online piracy of music, Steve Jobs at Apple opened Itunes and has sold more than 4 billion song downloads. If you’re a record company, why couldn’t you figure out how to innovate and create this opportunity? Because you get so focused on your business model, you aren’t able to see what isn’t there.

You are seeing the same thing happen in the newspaper business, the television broadcasting business in fact if you looked at the list of original companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average back in 1896 – only one company still exists – General Electric – and that company is a very different, modern company that makes sure it is in profitable, growing businesses. It has reinvented itself many times.

What do you suggest to help companies avoid the efficiency trap?

First realize that in addition to finding ways of making more money doing what you currently do you need to be ready and willing to reinvent yourself. Instead of keeping your head down, lift your head up and focus some of your time looking outside of your business. Attend conferences, read books, look at what other industries are doing, not just other companies in your same industry. Encourage employees, customers, suppliers to give ideas. Remember that the greatest innovations that can leapfrog your business ahead could be from adapting something happening in another industry.

How does someone apply this thinking to their career?

If you are an achievement oriented person, you might lock into a career that you think will be rewarding and prosperous only to find that one day, the world has changed and suddenly you are forced to start over. So by all means focus on doing your job to the best of your ability and at the same time be aware of what’s going on around you and be prepared to adapt and change. Take courses and stay open and flexible.

Now is the time to elevate the skill set and thinking in your organization – visit and get in touch with us now.