Drawn from life

What is business effectiveness?

“Think outside the box!”
At every training or brainstorming session on business effectiveness you can hear that cry resounding. But what does that mean in concrete terms?

A single example will make it all clear. And, as a nice bonus, you will score with it amongst your colleagues …

The assignment
Add up all the numbers between 1 and 100: what is the sum?

Addition Inside the box
You go to work diligently:
1 + 2 = 3,  3 +3 = 6,  6 + 4 = 10,  10 + 5 =15, etc.
An hour later you get the result - assuming you did not make a single error in addition …  

Multiplication Outside the box
Yet this can be done much more easily - if you step outside the conceptual framework of the assignment.Because no one is forbidding that to you: surely you think ‘outside the box’?

Reflect first for a moment about the assignment. You will encounter something remarkable: 100 + 1 = 101,  99 + 2 = 101,  98 + 3 = 101, etc. Sure enough: the outcome of the two outer numbers is always 101, until you get to the middle, at 50 +51 = 101!

Why not make those fifty additions into a multiplication?50 x 101 = 5050. And that’s that. 

Thinking ‘green’
You see: by taking a moment to pause before shooting away from the starting blocks, you gain one hour. You don’t waste your energy in carrying out endless additions, but use it sparingly by conceiving of a system that does the addition for you.
And that is exactly what business effectiveness is all about.