One of the key “mantra’s” that I live by and what I strive to accomplish with all my clients is “Simplicity.” Simple is just simply better. I know I am taking a bit of liberty with some words here but think about it. The world has gotten so complex that the messages and products and solutions that stand out in our minds are the ones that are the simplest and easiest to grasp and incorporate into our every day lives. We don’t have time for “complexity” any longer – the world has gotten too complex to do this efficiently. OK, enough of the play on words.
But really folks, think about your own lives and those of your businesses. Isn’t it refreshing when something you are working on or involved in or managing is so simple everyone gets it right away? Isn’t every one’s life easier (other than possibly the consultant that is trying to make it too complex) when something is simple? I am reminded of this every day in the work we do and in my own personal life. Think of Apple and the Ipod – can’t get any simpler than that – one button and a wheel does it all. Every time, and I mean every time I either make something more complex than it should be or communicate my thoughts in a way that is too complex to understand, everyone loses – especially me.
I built Customer Experiences Inc. using the mantra, “Simple Solutions – Powerful Results” and I try to live by that every day for the sake of my clients. We do a lot of things, one of which is helping companies better understand the promises their customers want them to keep. As part of that work we are constantly reminded by our clients customers how complex they have made the relationship. They don’t fully understand what they are being promised and they aren’t really sure if they are delivering on these promises that they don’t fully understand – whew – that is is complex and confusing.
Another example is when we look inside our clients own “house” to see what is happening internally. Invariably, we see new solutions and programs being implemented (or I should say trying to be implemented) that have no chance in you know what of succeeding. Why? Because they are so complex that the majority of employees don’t even understand the program or their role in helping to make it happen. It doesn’t work if only top management and the creator of the program gets it – it has to reach the “lowest common denominator” in the company. If they don’t get it, it won’t work. But when companies introduce programs that are so simple the lowest level employee “gets it” and understands their role in it – it is generally wildly successful.
A great example of this, and I keep going back to this company, is Southwest Airlines. Their missions statement is so simple everyone gets it and knows their role in it. It is simply, “The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Simple – everyone gets it and can do their best to make sure they are living by this rule. We could all learn a bit more and be a bit more effective at everything we do if we constantly keep the word SIMPLE in front of us every step of the way – and when things start to spiral out of control, remember the Golden Rule and get back to something that is simply simple.