Thursday, January 17, 2008

Simplicity is the Key

Professor Peter Ferdinand Drucker is one of my personal heroes. He was a world renowned management consultant, a prolific writer and a champion of simplicity in business. He argued that the majority of problems faced by businesses come from making things more complicated than they need to be. People are complicated enough without helping them moreso! Simplicity is key. You might have once learned it as the K.I.S.S. principle.

But simplicity stems from a sound business strategy. Strategy helps your employees make good choices and remember priorities. Drucker believed so strongly in the power of simplicity, he applied his principles to his writing.

As a business grows out of the start-up stage and becomes a functional small business, many of the routine tasks should be standardized. Then as the company grows in sales and employees, these methods of working adapt and change. In essence they evolve based on new requirements and practices. In short, these processes evolve organically over time.

But have they evolved for the better? Has the process become more efficient or less so? Personally I believe in chaos, I am a father. Let me put it another way...if you plant a tree in a pot do you leave it in the same pot year after year, or do you change the pot so the tree can grow taller? Your business needs to be re-potted every once-in-a-while.

Simplify! Reduce the number of steps and you get more total steps over the course of the day. That is efficiency.

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