‘…the height of sophistication is simplicity.’
– Clare Boothe Luce, 1931
This quote sums it up with only six words. Seriously, please look it up, print it out and staple it to your forehead, well, ok, office/ cubicle/ agile workplace wall.
Ok, I shall now step off my soapbox and deliver those solutions. Or as Elvis so wisely sang, ‘a little less conversation, a little more action, please. All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me…’.
Thinking about it, I could also copy and paste the entire lyrics here to bring my point across. But then Elvis would need to be credited posthumously for being a thought leader on business simplicity.
Now, without further ado, I shall give you my solutions to the above-mentioned challenges:
- Clear rules of engagement and accountability as leaders who receive mixed messages create assumptions and pass on their confusion to their teams.
- Concrete, realistic yet challenging metrics matching the existing business workflow, role mandates and responsibilities as the highest performing employees have internalized their organization’s values, expectations and incentives.
- Simpler internal and external systems that make it easier for your customers to do business with you, monitoring and tracking potential problems and offering proactive solutions.
Let me guess, your first reaction – obviously, I am being very presumptive here – is duh, this is common sense and nothing new.
I totally agree with you, and yet these solutions seem like manna from heaven, the holy business grail that everyone knows about but still has not found a way to instill or replicate into their business.
Instead of focusing on the why, which is a complete other book of mine, let us dive deeper into the solutions themselves and how I would implement these.
It all starts with a sequence of the most critical business components, and believe me, the order absolutely matters and will pave the way to employee engagement, customer loyalty and ultimately profits:
- an inspiring vision,
- leading to a purposeful mission based on core values,
- producing clearly defined role mandates that
- create specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound goals that are
- based on concrete, consistent and simple expectations and processes, and
- tied to performance incentives and rewards.
I have worked with some of the most lucrative global companies in the world and I have seen what happens when inconsistencies and inefficiencies cease to hold a business and its employees back.
Many businesses hardly take the time to review the root cause and effect of these challenges in their lifecycle.
That is why they stay small, get mediocre results and reputations. And why their brightest stars burn out and their most loyal customers turn to their competitors.
Just imagine, what happens when a businessunderstands, identifies and applies simplicity to bridge the gap between teams and systems, to get bottom-line results and grow your customer base…it simply beats its competition with its allies – its employees and customers.