Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mission too important for effeciency

"Many organizations define the needs of their current mission as so compelling that it overrides a more efficient approach."

I have been looking for a simple way to make that statement for years and WHAM! I am reading the book The Dynamics of Technology for Social Change by Jonathan Peizer. The book was good until I got to chapter 6 and then it started to read just like Jonathan was talking about my org and the book just got better.

It just struck me as so common that we get so busy with what needs to be done today to meet what we think is most important, that we dont have time to do what is best in the long run. And to make that more complicated, most of us dont have the resources, understanding or support to even be able to know or do what is best.

Here is what I mean...

At home, I understand that an on-demand water heater is more efficient and works better in the long run. But I dont really have the funds to get it now and hey the old one is still working.

With my family, I know that spending "quality time" with each kid individually would radically change their future, but our hectic schedule always seems to make today too busy.

With my money, I know a little saved over time would make college for my kids easier, but oops never got to it and now I only have two years.

With my car, I know about fuel efficiency and emissions, but with a family of six and working at a nonprofit, my choices were slim.

How often are all of us sacrificing a better future to meet the impending needs of today?