Copyright 2023 Asian Sales Guru
We aim to provide guidance in all these 3 areas to set you on your selling success!
Mobile :: Subhead

The Dangers of Being too Efficient

By Percy Chong, 26th February 2015

We are naturally programmed to find ways to be efficient. However, this innate conditioning comes with its own flaws. Usually when we become efficient with the task and develop a routine or work rhythm, that is the first sign that we have started to hit a plateau in our development and have ceased to grow. Every little changes or “disruption” to the routine will usually throw us off our ‘efficient curve’ and even worse, brings devastating results to the day’s work.

This naturally occurring phenomenon cuts across all aspect of our lives. We see that in sports, our studies, and we certainly see them in our work. We settle into our efficiency zones very fast, but we are challenged to constantly push to beyond our ‘efficiency plateau’ (ie. comfort zones), if we wish to break this invisible and self-imposed ceiling to exceed ourselves.

How should we define efficiency?

We observed that efficiency should not have a final destination. It is about the never ending pursuit for effectiveness and excellence…never ceasing and never being truly satisfied. The constant quest to seek better results and never settling down to “menial” work routine. Once routines of set activities enter into our work processes, complacency and self-limiting barriers would have set up shop and inhibits further growth. In fact, the more organised our work routine, the lesser we are willing or open to changing it and allowing the introduction of new ideas into our processes.

Take for example, working out in the gym. The journey to arrive at our desired physique will definitely see us hitting many progress “plateaus” (ie. characterise by slow or no growth despite having similar training efforts). Very often the causes for these “plateaus” are attributed to the organised and unchanging training routine. Our body will naturally start to condition itself to the routine (ie. the ‘tearing’ and repairing of the muscles are at the minimal when our body is conditioned, hence slow muscle growth) and progress suffers a standstill. The solution is found in having variation in the training regime or cross-training activities. Without the diverse activities, we will soon hit a saturation of growth.

In the context of work, it is also necessary to set “flexible” work activities that will continually stretch us. Flexibility does not relate to having a flexible working hour, but flexibility in type of task that we take on. And we cannot allow efficiency of delivering work routines to be the focal point of our development. The constant process of learning and dealing with different task or situation, and efficiently solving them is the key. Efficiency therefore is applied not to our work routine, but our work attitudes. 

There exist many routes or “activities” that will lead to the same end objective. Much like Markowitz’s Efficient Frontier concept, where investment portfolios that lie beneath the efficient curve are sub-optimal; the key is in achieving an optimal portfolio returns under a defined level of risk through portfolio mixed, diversification and rebalancing. Consider all the sub-optimal portfolios sitting under the efficient curve to be the different challenges, routes or activities that offers the opportunity to lead to the efficiency of task. The efficient curve is a constant that we all need to strive towards, while the different situations and even disruptions to this journey is nothing more than opportunities for us to stretch and develop new competencies or mindset, and bring us closer to our constant quest for efficiency under all conditions.

And if the idea of constantly pushing the boundary of our efficient curve sounds unnerving; we concede that it is a frightening thought…not being able to rest on our laurels even when we have achieved competency in our work area. However, we are programmed and challenged by life to grow strength upon strength, and glory upon glory. To set new highs for the generation after us to follow and exceed. And this warning regarding the dangers of efficiency should never be forgotten or ignored…”just when we become efficient, we cease to grow”!

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)
Desktop View | Mobile View
Copyright 2023 Asian Sales Guru