Would you believe me if I told you that every big problem out there has a simple solution? It’s true.
When we are faced
with a particularly complex challenge, we convince ourselves that we need to fight fire with fire. We approach the situation prepared that it’s going to demand insight, expertise, and hours of research to solve.
But what if we took a step back and started with the fundamentals? What if we went straight to the heart of the problem to ask why we need a solution?
There’s a complex formula that calculates momentum and the rate of rise and fall of a ball flying towards you. Do you make these computations in your head or do you keep your eye on the ball, run, and adjust your angle to meet it at the right spot for the catch?
If you want to lose weight, countless resources will explain the science of weight loss. There are metabolic rates, human molecular formulas, and the chemical make up of your body. You could take all these complicated formulas and develop a weight loss strategy that is mathematically sound and scientifically accurate. Or you could simply eat less and move more.
We’re not saying that understanding the complexity of things is unnecessary. Knowledge is, after all, power. However, dissecting complicated problems to the bone only helps you comprehend how something works; it doesn’t give you solutions.
We see this in business all the time. Organizations are so hellbent on gaining insight into the behaviors of their customers that they could probably tell you the precise minute that each of them was born.
But what would you with all this data? Does knowing what hometown they’re from, what high school they went to, which side of the bed they sleep, or how they like their breakfast eggs cooked help you sell a product? Perhaps all this data could help if you wanted to do some targeted marketing. Or you could strip down to the basics. Instead of analyzing where they are from and where they’ve been, know where your customers are headed and why they would need your product in the near future.
We see this in management all the time with leadership who overthink and overanalyze what it takes to keep their employees happy. Does it take standardized testing and in-depth personality analysis? Maybe. But we believe it’s as simple as articulate communication and consistent engagement.
Ambition has always had a way of breeding complexity into business practices. We feel that the more we grow as a business, the more elaborate our processes should be; otherwise, we may not be taken seriously as big players. However, elevating your mission doesn’t mean you have to complicate your vision. Be clear about why you do what you do.
When your purpose is simplified, your communications are streamlined, your intent is clarified, and your path is defined. Complexity should be approached with creativity. Recognize that there’s a simple answer waiting to be discovered and that simplicity is not to be confused with a trivial solution.
Philip Uglow is the President of Renshi Consulting Group. Renshi lowers clients costs by pulling ideas from your people in the moment, when they are most busy with real work. This is when they learn. This is when they change.