Can we find out who invented that phrase? – “Do More with Less.” How crazy! I want to have a talk with him. (I am sure it was a him.)
Don’t get me wrong – I am all in favor of efficiency. And,
But that is not how “Let’s do more with less” usually gets discussed. It gets discussed as a “spin” on a situation where more is needed, but resources have been cut. So some brilliant “leader” tries to inspire their team with “Let’s do more with less!”
The problem is that it often happens to people who are already under-resourced and overworked. So it wears thin quickly. If you find yourself in a really tough situation where resources have been surprisingly cut and you really must “do more with less” – then don’t try to put a positive spin on it. A chocolate covered cowpie is still a cowpie.
Be straight with your team, e.g., “we have been dealt a tough hand and we need to make the best of it.” Yes, it does provide an opportunity to try to be creative. But here’s the thing – don’t try to make it your new culture. Do your best to lower the need for “more” and redouble your efforts to get additional resources. Otherwise, you will encourage burnout and your best people will go to an organization where they “Do More with More” – how’s that for a slogan!
Resource challenges occur in good times and in bad; they are a part of any organization’s life. The key is engaging the situation proactively and working through it with a positive attitude – without making it the “new normal.”
P.S. For a fun Dilbert “spin” on “More with Less,” see here.