The Efficiency Paradox

“An over-focus on resource efficiency [leads to chain reactions of superfluous work that does not add value]. The efficiency paradox is that [by focusing on] utilizing our resources efficiently, we are actually being inefficient since much of that utilization comes from superfluous work. […] Paradoxically, not focusing on utilizing resources makes it possible to free up resources.”

“The efficiency paradox exists at an individual level [and] on an organizational level. What if it also exists at the societal level? […] How many resources could we avoid wasting if we started to see the ‘big picture’ and focus on flow efficiency?”

-Niklas Modig and Pär Ahlström, This is Lean (p.58-65)

See also: the paradox of customer focus.

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