Keep It Simple

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I read these wise words and immediately thought of Gino Wickman. Wickman is the developer of EOS—Entrepreneurial Operating System. Over the ten years since I first met Wickman and became an Implementer who helps companies install and run on EOS, I’ve embraced the way his system teaches the value of simplicity in running your company.

Simplicity is achieved by eliminating everything but the necessary so you can focus on the important things.

Everything seems to get more and more complex as time goes on. Complex versus improved. Taking something and making it better is a wonderful thing. I like that my current car, a Mercedes, works much better than the first car I owned, a VW Beetle.

But I don’t like that the up-to-date software that runs on my laptop is  ridiculously complex and filled with useless features that almost no one uses. Complex meaning it now has many more ways to break down, making it more difficult and expensive to fix. Complex meaning it takes up lots of space that could be used for more important things.

For example, every time WordPress “upgrades” its software, which I use to send these missives, it screws up things for a couple of weeks until my tech expert gets it all cleaned up. And these improvements rarely if ever add any value. Could it be that the WordPress people just need  something to do?

Coincidence: I opened my laptop to do a final edit before setting this missive to be distributed. An email popped up from WordPress informing me that they have just updated with the latest features. Great. Then the final sentence: “You may need to check to ensure everything’s working as it should.” They used ‘may need to’ when they really mean “will have to.” More work for my tech expert and wasted money for me.

Back to my point. The same thing happens in companies. Rather than create a short and easily understood and followed strategic plan, companies hire expensive consultants to create a long and complex plan that is impossible for the company to implement. After all, how can you implement something that you can’t understand and that is filled with useless recommendations that drag you hither and yon?

This is why I like EOS so much.  It leads you to focus on the important and get rid of the rest. To create a strategic plan that fits on a few pages, can be understood and implemented, and can guide the company forward via easily understood and followed guidelines. A plan that can easily be modified and adjusted as circumstances change. Simplicity.

Look around your company. How much wasted effort is going into complex activities that add no value?

“Coincidence #2: After making one final change to this missive, it took me twenty minutes to figure out where WordPress decided to relocate their “update” button.”

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