Productivity equals efficiency.  Yes?  

Well, yes – by and large.

But sometimes we need something else … something more.

The recent problems with supply chains (after both the COVID pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine) reminded us that resilience is also important – but may use additional resources, and therefore be ‘less efficient’.

In fact, risk reduction. In general causes an organisation to be less efficient.

Similarly, compliance with regulation can add cost and lower resource efficiency. Yet society needs transparency and compliance in some areas.  Think food production and distribution, for example.

Of course, one can see compliance here as being a mark of ‘quality’, so it may add value even while adding cost.

It is important, though, to recognise when total concentration on efficiency must be mediated by other desirable or essential factors.

Sometimes such factors might make the organisation more productive in the longer term – employee training and well-being are obvious examples.  They cost the organisation money – but without them, the long-term future may be bleak.

So, let’s hear it for essential inefficiency!