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Leadership

Posts tagged Simplify
Simplify

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. “

Antoine de St. Exupery

“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Albert Einstein

As my main field is Information Technology, I have seen many companies design complex systems to support elaborate business processes. Unfortunately, I have also seen many of these systems fail.

We sometimes forget that added complexity almost never translates into added benefits or success. Every time we make a process or product more complex we set ourselves up for failure.

Process and Product simplification should be one of the main goals of every professional and manager.

Do not reward complexity! Reward simplicity!

Ensure that everyone around you understands that you foster simple solutions. Depending on your organization this might require a new culture of work or just a small change. In some organizations, it is considered an achievement to build such a complicated process that its creator becomes indispensable (for this also see: “The graveyard is full of indispensable people.”). So much so, that he or she can’t even go on vacation or worse, they are not available to take over other tasks or projects.

Make sure that you reward the opposite – a good manager is a dispensable manager. Only then can he take over new tasks and add value to the company.

In product design there are many examples of the success of simplicity. Just look at Google or Apple and you will immediately recognize that one of their underlying design principles is simplicity.

So make sure that whenever and wherever possible you simplify!

Bad Managers create Complexity - Good Leaders remove it!

Insecure managers create complexity

(Jack Welch)

This is a simple truth – not just for managers.

Whenever we are insecure about something we start to create complexity. We design elaborate processes to be followed, define documentation guidelines or just simply create complex products. We are unfocused when insecure about a topic. We tend to make it more complex, look at all the possible problems instead of the solution. In the end, we create inefficiency or just a really ugly and un-useful product.

Insecure managers tend to build an elaborate organization, detailed processes without added value, confusing reporting lines and many times misinformation. You can spot them easily whenever you hear, “This is too complex, and we cannot tackle this right now!”

Never trust anyone who claims he is taking care of something so complex that it cannot even be discussed! There is no such thing.

A secure manager will always be able to tell you exactly what he or she and their organization is doing, how he or she is benefitting the company, and why these specific tasks are necessary for the final outcome.

Do not hide behind complexity. Complexity is not valuable (even though people sometimes think so) - simplicity is the real value.

Only if your organization is simple, your team members know what they are contributing to the bottom line and why they are doing what they’ve been told to  – only then you are really doing your job as a manager. Even more important – only then can you rise to the top because you have people on your team who will be able to take over responsibility from you and follow you when you are going on to the next level.

Do not underestimate this - it is very important as many times you might not get promoted if your manager believes that your role is too critical to manage the complexity you have created and there is no one from your team or from elsewhere in the organization who could take over your responsibility.

Don’t be insecure – be bold, learn everything you need to know for your current position, foster a team of high performers you can rely on, delegate responsibility and make yourself available for the next step by avoiding complexity in all areas.

Simplify

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. “

(Antoine de St. Exupery)

“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

(Albert Einstein)

As my main field is Information Technology, I have seen many companies design complex systems to support elaborate business processes. Unfortunately, I have also seen many of these systems fail.

We sometimes forget that added complexity almost never translates into added benefits or success. Every time we make a process or product more complex we set ourselves up for failure.

Process and Product simplification should be one of the main goals of every professional and manager.

Do not reward complexity! Reward simplicity!

Ensure that everyone around you understands that you foster simple solutions. Depending on your organization this might require a new culture of work or just a small change.

In some organizations, it is considered an achievement to build such a complicated process that its creator becomes indispensable (for this also see: “The graveyard is full of indispensable people.”). So much so, that he or she can’t even go on vacation or worse, they are not available to take over other tasks or projects.

Make sure that you reward the opposite – a good manager is a dispensable manager. Only then can he take over new tasks and add value to the company.

In product design there are many examples of the success of simplicity. Just look at Google or Apple and you will immediately recognize that one of their underlying design principles is simplicity.

So make sure that whenever and wherever possible you simplify!

Simplify

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. “

(Antoine de St. Exupery)

“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

(Albert Einstein)

As my main field is Information Technology, I have seen many companies design complex to support elaborate business processes. Unfortunately, I have also seen many of these systems fail.

We sometimes forget that added complexity almost never translates into added benefits or success. Every time we make a process or product more complex we set ourselves up for failure.

Process and Product simplification should be one of the main goals of every professional and manager.

Do not reward complexity! Reward simplicity!

Ensure that everyone around you understands that you foster simple solutions. Depending on your organization this might require a new culture of work or just a small change.