My, oh my, this is a scary one!
My goal here is not to bust this myth by claiming that the reverse is true – that effectiveness is more important than efficiency – rather, I believe that the secret to a successful organization lies in the blending of efficiency and effectiveness when planning and executing internal and client facing meetings and events. In other words, I believe that both of these components are vital to an organization’s success and that they are best used in tandem. What exactly do I mean? Don’t organizations inevitably have to choose one focus over the other? Let me first explain what happens when an organization places disproportionate importance on a solely numerical metric known as efficiency.
When efficiency is an organization’s number one priority, the main focus is immediately placed on the what and the how of planning an event instead of first addressing the integral why an event is being held. The central functionality gets bypassed altogether, as the event portfolio is immediately labelled as a cost and not as the investment it is. Once an event portfolio is framed within this context, those in charge of planning the meetings and events get bogged down with the responsibility of planning all of the tactics involved (in the most cost-efficient manner, of course!) – tactics which are not necessarily preceded by a strategy. The problem here is that a strategy must always be in place before any tactics can be addressed; similar to how an electrician would not wire a house before the builder spent the time necessary to physically build it. Hmm…this analogy seems to make perfect sense yet this chronic imbalance seems to outweigh this logic.
Let me be clear here I am not trying to say that cost-efficiency isn’t positive for an organization. I’m a firm believer in shopping around for the best deal and I commend organizations that do so. My goal is to bust this myth open and expose the fact that focusing solely on efficiency is no longer sufficient to remain competitive in today’s business world. Corporate executives need to ask if their event portfolio has simply evolved into a routine part of business, thus resulting in a shift in focus towards logistics and cost-containment. If this is the case, executives must ask themselves if seeking out the cheapest supplier can unleash people potential at a meeting or event. The answer is No. What you do get is cheaper travel and hospitality costs to get to the meeting or event; NOT what happens at the meeting or event!
The beauty of using meetings and events as a business and leadership tool is that they provide a platform for c-level executives to disseminate, collaborate and gather information with and from their valuable stakeholders. This focus on content-effectiveness facilitates the continued development of an organization and its most valuable resource: its people.
Meetings and events are all about effectively unleashing people potential and building intellectual capital. This, in turn, leads to increased levels of innovation, participation and collaboration, as well as improved organizational performance, productivity and profitability. Aha! Living proof that it is possible to blend effectiveness and efficiency into an organization!