The Unspoken Cost of Inefficiency

Face it: Your organization is inefficient. But so is everyone else’s. The question is, what are you doing about it? If you search for “organizational efficiency” on Amazon, you’ll find 38 books on this topic. How many have you read?

Nearly every for-profit company I read about focuses on eliminating waste, making its staff more productive, and — more important — making an investment not only in its people but also in the processes, consultants, and technology that help it become more efficient.

Sadly, this focus is rarely to be found in our industry. This confounds me. You would think that in an industry in which labor (your staff) is your biggest expense, we ought to be talking about this all the time. In all the years I’ve gone to industry conferences, I can’t recall a keynote (or even a session) on organizational efficiency or personal productivity.

I’m obsessed with this because technology can help eliminate inefficiency in a significant way, and when I bring it up, eyes roll, and it makes me feel like I’m wasting people’s time. That said, we have a client who has saved months of data entry alone by adopting PatronManager, at a labor savings of $10,000 per year!

So as you think about your organizational goals for this year, and as you think about improving your technology to get better business results, include staff efficiency (sometimes called staff alignment) in the mix. In fact, why not make it the most important thing you are looking to do?

Here’s a challenge: I’m counting the days until I get a call or an email from an executive director who says, “We are being dragged down by systems that hamper our staff members from getting their job done. Can you help us become more efficient?” The first executive director who writes me that email gets a pair of PatronManager branded socks!

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