The Efficiency Paradox | Niklas Modig | TEDxUmeå by TEDx Talks   3 years ago

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During this lecture I will talk about something that I think is extremely interesting: What is efficiency? It is a term that everyone uses, but very few understand. I would argue that 98% of all organizations have an incorrect understanding of what “true” efficiency really is. We tend to over focus on individual and functional performance. We think that efficient “islands" is a good thing. The more we deliver the better! The problem is that research shows the exact opposite! The more we try to squeeze out from the different islands within our organization, the more inefficient the organization will be! So what is the conclusion? Being “busy” is BAD! We call this the efficiency paradox! During this lecture I will describe why this phenomena occurs and how we have to redefine our view on efficiency in order to deliver true customer satisfaction!

I am an inspirational speaker, researcher and author. Since I was a kid I have always been striving to understand what excellence really is. What is the key behind high-performing individuals, teams or organizations? In 2006, I got an opportunity that no other researcher had been given before. I got full access to study the most efficient and productive organization in the world. I spent more than 2,000 hours inside the company studying their work patterns, routines and attitudes. Since then I have been travelling around the world speaking about my findings. I have been invited to speak in 29 different counties, and all in total I have given more than 800 lectures. My first book – This is Lean - just passed 200,000 copies sold, making it one of the most sold Lean books of all time.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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