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There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all

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“There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker

You need to stand back from this quote and let it settle in your mind for bit. Seems so simple but how do we get caught up in the madness of becoming very efficient at worthless activities?

I was in a company a while back where their production floor had a wall where all the Metrics/KPI’s were visible, must have been 100 or more charts. I commented asking how did it get this big and how do you make sense of it. I was told it started with two charts and they weren’t really how sure it grew, but it did. The simple act of updating this information once per week was consuming probably 20 people’s time, and what information was it really telling the company anyway?

The more relevant question to this and any other company serious about growth is “are we doing the right things?” Businesses spend so much time reporting on what is being done, they should spend far more time on “are we doing the right things?”, “is there a better way?”, etc.

It’s my opinion that this exercise of displaying a pile of useless information does nothing to drive the business forward but served only to display a “how good am I” culture. Forget the metrics for today. Answer these simple questions:

– Are we doing the right things?

– Is there a better way to do this?

– Are the things we are doing getting us to where we want to end up?

If you’re not happy with the answer to any of these questions, then stop doing things that are wasting your time, wasting your employees time and above all costing you a fortune in unproductive activities.

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