Politicians in the United States continue to perpetuate highly complex policies that are anything but simple. Taxation, energy policy, and campaign finance reform are just few examples of how masterful Washington is in its propensity towards complexity in governing the country. While there is often talk of simplification, talk has not become results as policies have become more convoluted with each administration. The U.S. tax code alone has expanded to more than 72,000 pages!
Governments are not the sole offenders as businesses of all sizes promote complicated methods and practices. Companies that embrace simple strategies and tactics have proven their ability to achieve sustainable growth and profits. From Southwest Airlines’ mission of “wheels up” that focuses their employees on quick turnarounds of each plane to Zappos empowering their team members to solve customer problems, these companies exemplify the power of simple ideas that promote nonstop growth and perpetual profits.
To assess which aspects of your business model can benefit most from simplification, answer these questions:
1. Do we have a core mission, guiding everything we do, that can be stated in just a few words?
2. Can each key process be distilled down into three or four actionable steps?
3. Are our branding and associated marketing messages simple yet provocative, using words sparingly?
4. Do our salespeople consistently exceed their activity quotas as a result of the simple approach we employ?
Armed with these answers, the simple solution to improving those areas needing attention is to make one small improvement each day. As you do, you’ll more easily sustain these changes as these improvements add up to fully refined process that are simple, sustainable, and contribute to the growth and increased profitability of your firm.