“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things”.
General Stanley McChrystal wrote “Team of Teams”. In this book, McChrystal (who served as commander of all U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan) discovered they needed to “unlearn” much of what they “knew” about how the world worked. Because warfare had changed, and therefore the Task Force team needed to change.
“We became what we called ‘a team of teams’: a large command that captured at scale the traits of agility normally limited to small teams. Almost everything we did ran against the grain of military tradition and general organizational practice. We abandoned many of the precepts that had helped establish our efficacy in the twentieth century, because the twenty-first century is a different game with different rules.”
Many organizations are discovering that their compartmentalization and silos prohibit the effectiveness of teamwork in this fast-paced and ever changing world.
Efficiency—No Longer Enough
I currently work with a ministry that has been active for over 100 years. But as the world around them has changed, they have continued in the same pattern established all those years ago. They efficiently deliver services, but receive more opportunities than they can respond to—with fewer resources available. They are discovering that being efficient is no longer good enough, because they are losing their effectiveness.
Their team is not on the same page. The Board sees things as they have for the past decades. The Executive Director and staff see a new way of navigating.
Subject knowledge, imagination, and intelligence are essential resources. But, as Peter Drucker pointed out for us, only doing the “right things” delivers effectiveness, which converts these resources into results.
Complexity—An Unpredictable World
General McChrystal addresses the complexity facing us this way:
“This is the new world we all share. There are too many events occurring simultaneously for any entity to monitor; and with the ability of individuals and small groups to communicate with millions of people, there is no way to be sure which of those events will transform into a threat.”
The increasing complexity of our world has moved us from a fairly predictable data-poor environment to a less predictable data-rich one. Without the right tools to properly interpret the vast information at our fingertips, we get bogged down with information overload.
For instance, what do you really know about your major donors? Do you know the true potential of their ability to assist your ministry? Are there some that have the ability to be stronger members of your team?
These questions can be answered by using a wealth screening tool such as DonorCompassSM. With wealth screening you can more accurately direct your development efforts in an increasingly complex world.
Resilience Is Vital
Keep in mind that we live in a fallen world. It has been said that in a fallen world, anything above 51% equals success. Setbacks prove inevitable. Well-meaning, but wrong decisions will be made.
But effective organizations have one thing in common—resilience. This does not mean just rolling with the punches. Instead it means learning that the punches don’t diminish the commitment to the goal.
When I was young, my mother all too often quoted one of her favorite verses to me; “Whom the Lord loves, He disciplines.” That was not what I wanted to hear! But as James points out “the testing of your faith develops perseverance”. That is resilience. That is what makes us “mature and complete”, both personally and corporately.