Comparable with the difference complicated vs. complex, so most use the words effectiveness and efficiency or efficient and effective synonymously. Thereby, it makes a big difference whether you travel to Berlin efficiently or effectively.
If you want to drive efficiently by car, for example with low fuel consumption (see calculator)from Munich to Berlin, you will drive the speed optimized for your car, e.g. 120km/h. In addition, the driver avoids accelerating and braking in order to save energy. For example, because he drives with the tactic of keeping a greater distance from the car in front or choosing a time or day when there is little traffic.
Efficiency means doing things “right”!
In terms of environmental protection, the car may not be effective. It would be better to use the train or the bicycle, depending on distance, weather, etc.. If, however, the goal was to get to Berlin quickly, the airplane might be the fastest and therefore most effective method.
Effectiveness means to do the “right” thing in the sense of the set goal!
What is the right thing depends of course on the context and intention, such as environmental protection or short travel time.
Confronting complexity with effectiveness
Complexity is only tangible through networked thinking. This also means that if you want to make a complex system usable, this can only be done using effective methods and approaches.
It is therefore of little help if any component of a complex system, e.g. employee satisfaction, is removed and efficiently improved when redundancies are simultaneously on the agenda.
Cübernetics is effective
If you want to find out how to approach a complex question “effectively” or how to find out the relevant influencing variables and in which particular order they should be approached, the method of Kubernetiksthe means of choice.
With the 16-step-instruction on a piece of paper every effective approach to his complex challenge can be found. Exciting examples of how experts have effectively approached their private and professional complexities can be found here.