Home > Ideas, leadership > Simple but not easy

Simple but not easy

The solution to most complex problems that you could ever encounter are almost always Simple, but not easy!

You want to increasei your profits; Solution is to grow your sales and reduce your costs, together. Simple, but not easy.

You want to increase your sales; Keep your existing customers happy so they buy more from you and keep adding more customers to the system. Simple, but not easy.

You want to reduce your costs; reduce and eliminate all activities that do not contribute to either acquire or service a customer. Simple, but not easy.

You want to transform yourself from a manager to a leader; Start inspiring people around you. Simple, but not easy.

It is our tendency to ignore these simple solutions as they seem to be too simple to be true and start our quest for complex solutions to solve these challenges. We start talking about Business Process Re-engineering or a re-structuring exercise hoping that these will solve our problems.

This is also the root cause for the failure of most change initiatives (almost 70% of change initiatives fail).

The best way to solve any challenge is to find the simple solution and start working towards finding the ideas to make these simple solutions come to life.

Do you agree with my thoughts? Do let me know your thoughts by either commenting below or by tweeting them to me at @rmukeshgupta.

Looking forward to the ensuing discussion.

Categories: Ideas, leadership Tags:
  1. Maarten de Vries
    March 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Hi Mukesh, I certainly agree to an extent. Reminds me of my favourite business book of all time: “The Goal” by Eli(yahu) Goldratt. Speaking of goals, I think there is always a grey area between the goal (what are you trying to do?) and the solution (how are you going to do it?). What you call the “simple solution” is almost still a goal to me, whereas your “nor so easy” solution is the real solution, the “how”.
    I think the problem is that many people think big goals can only be achieved with big solutions, but then they kick off huge projects that take forever and often disappoint. I am of the belief that many small solutions, i.e. grassroots initiatives, together, can have the same impact, if not more, than 1 big one, and they have a better chance of success as well, because you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket and you can adapt much more easily. It’s probably a tired metaphor, but if you look at what ants can do, working together, they are probably the most amazing animals on Earth, yet they are often overlooked, because they are so small ;o)
    This idea is not new, of course. There is a book on this, called “Obliquity”, for example, and it also has something to do with Malcom Gladwell’s “Tipping Point”.
    Lastly, i must confess that I’m still a huge fan of the ORIGINAL BPR, the one introduced by Michael Hammer and James Champy in “Reengineering the Corporation”, not all the blabla that followed! OK, so BPR is about doing big things, to get big results, but those things are always focus on the the goal and they are often very simple as well. I think most big companies would do well to revisit BPR, including our own ;o)

    • March 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Maarten

      The Goal is also one of my most favourite business book. In fact, my thinking on this topic has also been influenced by Eli Goldratt and his concept of “Inherent Simplicity” which he explains in his latest book – “The Choice”.

      Also, I do agree that most large organizations do need to look into how they operate and explore if they can simplify or re-engineer their organizations.

      Thanks for sharing your views.


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