One of your biggest challenges as a leader is to take the complicated and make it simple.
There are a lot of fires to put out when you’re running a business. And it’s easy to run around and stamp out every new fire without stopping to survey the whole landscape. The reason is, the fires catch our attention immediately.
When you stop long enough to find out what’s causing the fire and what’s fueling it and perpetuating it, you have a real chance of stopping it. But if things are so complicated that you can’t see through all the trees, it’s a lot more difficult to see and solve the real problems.
Thinning Out The Forest
The more policies, procedures, processes, and nuances of each that you have, the more complicated things can get. And everytime you have a new situation, it’s easy to just add a new layer of policy, procedure or process to the pile.
But how many layers of new paint can you put on a door before it won’t close any more?
So the key to creating simple and effective solutions is to do a couple of things:
- Think 50/50. Spend 50% of your effort in finding the right solution, and the other half in implementing it.
- Hone what you have. Focus on tweaking and upgrading your present solutions rather than just adding more work to a previously simple process.
The Value Of Keeping It Simple
And we’re talking dollars here. And a lot of them. Here’s where you’re going to save money by keeping it simple:
- Training. The simpler your business is, the easier it is to train and develop new people and move forward and grow.
- Efficiency. Every layer of policy and procedure you add to a task slows it down. Streamlining your workflow means it takes less people and less time to perform a task. Big savings.
- Quality. Every step you take out of a process chain is one less place where it might break or cause you a problem.
- Problem solving. It’s a lot easier to find the missing piece in a 10 piece puzzle than it is a 1000 piece puzzle. Solving problems quickly means you can get back to business that much sooner.
- Results. All of these savings from keeping it simple allow you to get the job done faster, cheaper and better than your competition can. That sparks repeat sales and it sparks great word-of-mouth advertising.
Stop and see the whole field where the fires are raging. Strip away the layers of old paint. Root through the sea of square pegs and find that one round one that fits perfectly.
With the right mindset you can leave every situation better than how you found it. Simpler. And more profitable.
That’s the challenge.