We live in a complex world. As leaders, we’ve learned to live with chaos, ambiguity, and uncertainty. Our challenge is to reduce complexity, break down everything to its simplest form. In EOS® , it’s one of the five attributes of leaders needed to break through ceilings.
In her book, Why Simple Wins, Lisa Bodell offers practical approaches on driving simplicity. She also points out some uncomfortable tendencies many of us have.
We resist the need to simplify, because it’s easier not to. More importantly, we have an emotional need to keep things complex. I think she’s right. In my experience, we hide behind complexity to protect ourselves. We “Reply All” just to be safe or to let everyone know we’ve responded. We attend unnecessary meetings to be sure we’re not left out. We form committees vs. taking ownership of a problem and simply making the decision. All of these things add unnecessary complexity.
When we simplify things, our lives get easier. It’s good for our companies and good for us.