“True effectiveness is a function of two things: what is produced and the producing asset.”
The basic definition of Effectiveness is the degree of capability to accomplish or produce a desired result.
One of the best telltale description and analogy about Effectiveness was done by Stephen Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. He used one of Aesop’s fables to illustrate how Effectiveness can be perceived compared to the norm.
If you are not familiar with “The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg”, it tells about a special goose owned by a farmer and his wife. The goose laid a golden egg each day. The farmer and the wife thought that they can wait each day to get a golden egg or they can get all the golden eggs inside the goose and become richer much faster. The couple decided to do the latter, so they killed the goose and cut it open. To their dismay, instead of finding golden eggs, they realized that their goose is just like any other goose.
Covey contends that if you really want to be effective, the objective is not just to reach your goal or get to your desired result, but to keep on repeating the successes. In order to achieve this, you have to make sure you have a good balance between your “Production” and “Production Capability”.
Production (P) – this is your desired result.
Production Capability (CP) – this is your resource or asset that will deliver your desired result over and over again. The emphasis is the “over and over again”.
In the story, the Production is the golden egg and the Production Capability is the goose. Here are the main points:
- The couple was getting their Production as provided by their Production Capability each day.
- Wanting to increase their Production faster, they sacrificed their Production Capability.
- Result – Production stopped and no Production Capability.
Most athletes, if not all, are constantly pressured to be the best and some succumb to overtraining and not giving their body and mind enough rest. This is not a good balance between Production and Production Capability. He/She can achieve Production, but for how long?
In order for an athlete to keep winning games (Production), he/she needs to make sure he/she takes good care of his/her body (Production Capability) through proper diet, continuous training, enough rest, etc. to remain very competitive and always on top of the game. Now, this is a good balance. By having a good balance between Production and Production Capability, you can have a continuous repeat of Production.
In the business world, your Production is whatever your desired result maybe and your Production Capability is your resources or assets. These are everyone, which includes yourself, and everything that is used and involved in your business like your employees, customers, business partners, store, stock, tools, technology, etc.
If you want continuous repeat of your Production, you cannot kill your Production Capability, and there a number of ways this can happen either intentional or unintentional.
It has already been mentioned a number of times and I’ll say it again…You always have to take care of your Production Capability and ensure a good balance with your Production. This is not negotiable.
Do you want to end up just like the farmer and his wife?