Ten Simple Truths About Simplicity, Doing Less, and Still Accomplishing More
Why these ten truths are so damned important: Much of what you’ve been told and sold about simplicity is a lie — or at best, misinformed. Making things simple isn’t about KISS or dumbing things down or even staying focused on just one or two things.
Making things simple is about power. The simpler something is to understand, the easier it is to push back when things just don’t make sense. The simpler something is to apply, the less someone needs to be managed or needs a manager. The simpler something is to measure at line-level, the more line people can track their own success.
Making things simpler is about making it easier for each individual to make informed, independent, empowered decisions.
Making things simpler is about making implementation easier, not just making it easier to manage and control things. (Which is how most senior execs currently define simplicity.)
Making things simpler is about empathy — always looking at everything from the other person’s
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Truth 1: Simplicity is about power.
(The power to do less of what doesn’t matter and more of what does.)
Which means, like all sources of power throughout human history, it brings out the best and worst in people
Truth 2: Simplicity in the workplace is the disciplined practice of empathy and common sense.
It is based on human nature and common sense, not corporate logic. It is the practice of working backwards from the needs of those doing the work.
Truth 3: There are three basic reasons for doing LESS at work…
• “Work is important, but it is not life. I want to focus on all that life outside of work has to offer.”
• “I want to make a difference. The work I do must matter. So I focus only on what I believe matters.”
• “I want to be the best I can be. So I focus on what excites me and helps me grow.”
• Doing less and laziness are not the same thing
• Each individual must decide why s/he wants to do less, and live every day according to that decision
Truth 4: In most of today’s workplaces:
Work = Figuring out what to do with finite time and attention, and infinite information and choices.
Truth 5: You have a lot more control over your workload than you think you do.
It comes down to where and how you choose to focus your time and attention. No one but you controls those things.
Next Installment: Truths 6—10