Without going into the finer details covered in a short military paper titled ‘The Human Dimension and the Future of Unit-Level Leadership’, one of its essential points is that efficiency is systems based, but effectiveness is human based. Developing the human element Is what leads to effectiveness.
I contend that every node within a system must be human-beneficial, as well as tend towards the maximal degree of human usability, and that while efficiency, effectiveness and accomplishment are different levels and scales on the time and space dimensions of systems, they are part of the same human continuum.
Systems are human based, not the other way around, and every system is a human interface for efficiency, effectiveness and accomplishment.
Efficiency refers to using the minimum amount of energy to accomplish a certain task. As you can see, we are already using two of the terms.
Efficiency means designing systems which are awareness and focus effective, they do not divert human attention but are an intrinsic interface for it.
If something cannot be done in an easy, logical and continuous manner, the system you are using is not human-effective and thus accomplishment is delayed.
Efficiency, which is the beginning, actually relates to and depends on effectiveness, which is the middle way.
The military paper concluded that trying to force object or task related efficiency in the short term, to the detriment of the human resources, is destructive in the mid and long term to effectiveness.
Efficiency is effectiveness dependent, and efficient systems are an applied interface for human effectiveness.
Effectiveness, in turn, refers to the middle way of being able to operate one’s own inner systems efficiently, as a human, and operate an array of external systems efficiently, without compromising inner systems.
How one navigates this interplay of inner and outer, and chooses which systems to operate and how, this is effectiveness.
Accomplishing something refers to this skillful and effective navigation of external systems without compromising internal systems.
More specifically, accomplishment is the ability to design inter-systems operational pathways, as well as re-design systems to make them more efficient — that is — more intrinsically human-applied and thus effective.
Here comes the real mind-bender. True accomplishment is neither inner, outer, nor in-between. To be able to operate systems of systems within a continuous flow, a non-state has to be reached which does not abide in any one of these three phases (inner, outer, in-between).
Similarly, true efficiency also lacks and inner, outer and in-between. A system is efficient when its parts internally use the least amount of energy in order to generate a result, but efficiency also refers to the system’s direct and intrinsic human operability (its usability). Thus efficiency cannot be defined as inner, outer, or in-between, but is the flawless continuum which transcends these three in a frictionless and human-beneficial manner.
Ultimately, in the non-state that can design, operate and accomplish truly beneficial systems, efficiency and accomplishment are the same effective continuum. These three are also transcended, which is the spontaneous meaning of accomplishment.
And that is the true ground of human awareness, flawless and capable of interacting with, bettering and benefiting everything, without operating from any specific a-priory system.
In terms of popular self-improvement categories, efficiency refers to forming incremental habits and developing character traits, effectiveness refers to the cultivation of applied and human-beneficial knowledge, skills and behavior, and accomplishment refers to the ultimate development of mindfulness and compassion with the realized ability to benefit beings directly and continuously.