So, I’m working w/ a group of people who I truly admire. They make change simpler for large companies all over the world. (So one would think this story is going to have a happy ending, right?) We’re partnering together. They’ve asked me to keynote a few workshops for them.
So far so good.Then we go over the agenda. They’ve got me closing the day, with breakout sessions in the middle for the executives attending to work through how to use everything they’ve learned. “But what about the content that I’m providing?” I ask. “If it doesn’t come until afterwards, they can’t use it in their breakouts.”
Not very audience-centered. Not very simple. But…We worked through it and came up with a compromise. Fair enough… I’m pragmatic. I can adjust.
Then came the title of my session: They added onto what I had provided (so it mentioned their theme). It became a 16-word title. 16-WORD title! That’s not simple. Barely tweet-able.
The point is: This situation is not unique.
Most every call I receive from most every senior exec goes something like this: “Would you help us with making things simpler at our company?” But here’s what’s unspoken, and usually in between the lines: “BTW, I’m defining simplicity as making it easier for me to get my strategies implemented. Simplicity is really all about me and my success.” It is so rare that an executive would ever think, or say: “My goal is to truly make things simpler for the workforce, because I understand that that’s enlightened self-interest.”
It really shouldn’t be so hard to make things simpler for the people doing the work.