About Effectiveness

Being efficacious entails doing the right things; being efficient, doing them correctly. Being effective means being efficacious and efficient.

Portrait of Fernando Del Vecchio Fernando Del Vecchio Buenos Aires

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How do we know if we are effective? We can consider business’ profitability as a measure of effectiveness. We can relate income with our clients’ satisfaction (efficacy), and outcomes with payments made to resources we use to generate that income (efficiency).

There's a moment in the evolution of your business (your company, agency or office), where the benefits of hiring someone to be responsible for the administration, far exceeds her cost. Costs increase with the intention of making a good use of that resource to generate better results.

Sometimes we avoid hiring a person dedicated purely and exclusively to administrative tasks, because she doesnʼt generate any income. It is difficult to think about the economic contribution by a person whose salary is associated to “economic loss”, even though from an accounting perspective, all salaries are.

What else influences the decision not to hire that resource? We might think that its cost is certain (and often almost immediate) and its benefit is uncertain (and not immediate).

However: have you forgotten billing services? Collection does not go in when it should, to cover payments? Haven’t you find important documentation that should be archived? Has some critical service been suspended because the bill hasn’t been paid? Do you postpone meetings with customers, because of tiredness and operative work load? Do you attend meetings finding yourself thinking about minor administrative questions? Have you presented proposals with significant errors, as a result of internal disorder and lack of time? Are you starting to think that your business associate does not work as hard as you do?

This is a different pattern of problems than the ones who face any new business. If workflow is continuous, we might think we have reached a certain level of effectiveness, which should be complemented by a similar level of efficiency. We are effective, but maybe we are not efficient enough.

Hiring someone to work as administrator is a good decision, a quality decision. Hiring a person without administrative skills (for example, to hire another designer to works as a part-time administrator) is not a good decision.

Your actual economic results are a consequence of your business decisions and the implementation of those decisions. The identification and administration of problems is a core competence, perhaps even greater than creative talent.

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Fernando Del Vecchio

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