Adaptability is the New Efficiency


For the last century, efficiency has been at the forefront.  It’s been ingrained into us since a young age.  It’s always about doing things faster and cheaper.  It’s about the “5 Ways to Be More Productive” and every other 5 point list on how to be more efficient.

But we are reaching our limit.  It’s hard to squeeze out more efficiency.

Sure – our new iPhone can open Twitter in 0.4 seconds instead of 0.7 seconds, but are we missing the point?

When electricity was first brought to manufacturing plants with steam engines, there wasn’t a huge surge in productivity that was realized.  All of the machines were left in place and the steam pipes replaced by electricity.

It wasn’t until they realized that the power of electricity was the ability to arrange the machines in a way that allowed people to work more efficiently.

And this is point we are at with technology and the digital age.  The power of this new age and technology is not the ability to work more efficiently.  It’s our ability to be flexible and adapt on a moments notice.

We can communicate with someone on the other side of the world at almost no cost.  We can ship things across the world in a matter of hours.  There is hardly anyway to get ahead by being more efficient.  As a society, I’d say we have that covered.

So it’s about being adaptable.  It’s about reacting to the ever changing landscape.  It relies in our ability to stay flexible and change on the fly at a moments notice.

And the ability to adapt can be the difference between winning and losing.  It’s what makes football so interesting to watch.  There is so much planning, execution, and efficiency built in.  But football is shifting in the same way the world is.

Within the context of all of this efficiency – it’s the ability to adapt that separates the greats.  It’s what allows the New England Patriots to always remain relevant.  They are never fixed in their belief or position.  At half time, they are always willing to switch strategies.

Sure they wouldn’t have the ability to adapt with the efficient systems they have built.  But nowadays, everyone is efficient.

It’s those that have the ability to be efficient while being flexible and adaptable that will really stand out.


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