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Simpliziti, Invisible Mistakes & Make Miami Thrive

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August 8, 2018

Why Does It Have to Be So Complicated?

We hear you, Avril Lavigne.

Adult life is complicated enough, then we go ahead and add careers, families, and this thing called work-life balance.  That doesn’t even take into consideration hobbies, any semblance of civic participation, and the growing expectation that the success of our organizations fall on the shoulders of a few.

Even Ben & Jerry’s has increased the number of flavors it has for sale.  And, who hasn’t spent about 10 minutes deciding which is the perfect ice-cream du jour combination.

In the spirit of the end of summer-back-school/life/reality frenzy that ensues at this time of year, this week we’re wondering, how can we achieve simplicity at scale?

Triple Letter Score: Start with “why.” Not only is it the name of great read, but the question “why” emphasizes the importance of getting back to basics.  The more you ask “why” the quicker you can uncover assumptions, biases, judgments, pre-conceived notions and baggage.  Yes, while this may sound like marriage counseling,  building meaningful connections require a deeper level of commitment to understanding the each other.

Design for Simplicity: And speaking of others, perhaps scrap that term altogether.  Cogent advice suggests that instead of expending the energy of varying self-interests, focus on identifying shared values.  It’s much easier to build on the same foundation.

Flat Framework: Great ideas don’t just find their home with creatives.  Everyone is capable of contributing to good design.  Simplifying organizational structure at least when it comes to crowd-sourcing the best ideas allows for a broader reach in developing new solutions, but it has an unintended effect of creating more effective engagement channels within your team.

Clear as Mud: Though Howard Schultz’s signature “all hands” town hall may not seem scalable, the significance of org-wide convening, when used sparingly and with intention, is undeniable: particularly when employed to work through tough issues like Starbuck’s recent training on racial equity and implicit bias.  Take your efforts to leverage technology beyond maximizing efficiency by using it to make more transparent the collective goals, aspirations, and priorities organization-wide.  Universal OKRs and measurable outcomes are simplicity in practice and go a long way.


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