Experience versus Efficiency: How to Handle Change.

This blog is about the need to balance efficiency and experience.
It’s always about finding balance. Not that the balance should be stable, but still.
Leading an organisation means that we need to handle contradictions, paradoxes.
There are many of them.

  • Managing continuity and managing change.
  • Mobililising People and getting things done.
  • Exploration and Exploitation.
  • Cost and Growth.
  • Efficiency and Experience.

Let’s take the last one.
Going for efficiency means that you optimise the costs of your operation. Experience means that you focus on how people feel. Customer Experience or Employee Experience is about how people enjoy (or not) working with you.

Experience is about how people feel.

Some examples
(1) In the search for efficiency you might decide to reduce square meters, but if you exaggerate people wil have a bad experience.
(2) Or you might decide to limit the contact opportunities with customers, but they might start complaining that you force them into a mould they do not like.
(3) Or you can reduce the number of car brands you offer new sales people (you can choose any car as long as it’s a …), but you might fail to attract people for whom a car is important.
(4) You can go for a reduced offer in the cafeteria, and disappoint people in the process.
And so on.
But you can reverse all the examples. You can offer people 50 square meters or work space and go bankrupt. You can offer customers endless opportunities to get in touch, but lose your profitability. Et cetera.
So it’s about finding balance between the need for efficiency and the need to give people meaningful experiences.
And the first step is to stop seeing the seemingly conflicting¬†aspects as conflictual. It’s “and-and”.

The first step is to stop seeing conflicts.

When I work with management teams about how to handle this, I always start with a reframing exercise. Once we see the common ground between the two, we can design solutions that take both aspects into consideration and locate an optimum.
Like I said. It’s always about finding balance.

Experience has become more important than ever.

But. Today experience is important. It has become more important than ever. Whereas people were content with functional relationships, they are now much more sensitive to the emotional journey. One of the reasons is that we have been spoiled. In the fight for customers and employees, organisations have offered experiential value.
That means that in the search for efficiency and experience, we must be very careful when sacrificing experience for efficiency. People will experience a sense of loss. And we now that loss has a high impact on human behaviour.
So before you start the next round of efficiency enhancing I invite you to anticipate the consequences on the experience of employees and customers.

When handling change, handle experience.

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