Simplify: Refine

We're talking again today about how do you equip for growth; in particular, how do you simplify and refine systems and processes to aid the potential to grow. There's something beautifully elegant in simplicity.

Great design efficient processes beautiful things tend to be simple. It's relatively easily easy to come up with a complex system but finding the simplicity in the complex, is a whole different story. If we are not mindful of creating simplicity complex confusion will prevail.

“The notion of 'reduce and refine' is one I've pursued. I truly believe that by making things less complex, by finding innovative ways to make sustainability affordable, we can advance the notion that it is possible.” According to Yves Behar.

The frustration here is no improvements in process and growing layers of complexity. It’s just hard work and unnecessarily complex. When you have that, people get confused disengaged and just simply frustrated. The answer is to allow people to challenge systems and ask the question, “why do we do it this way?”

Why take 27 steps to get something done when it can be done in three?

What we want is continuous improvement and progression. When we think we have arrived we are in imminent danger. There is nothing that cannot be improved further. This is not a one-time event it is a continuous programme.

If we get this right, then the continual small improvements add together to create an effective durable and healthy organisation. Harvard Business School have a wonderful case study where they look at the Danaher Corporation who have essentially adopted Toyotas Kaizen continuous improvement system, and have for decades continuously and consistently, massively outperformed the S&P. They have leveraged the ability to create an environment of continuous improvement and become number one or two in their targeted industrial entities.

The principle here is that by refining we can innovate and simplify at the same time.

Think about it like this. It is only through the melting down of metal in a furnace to remove its impurities, that it becomes strong and pure.

Where is your most successful area. How can you make it even better? Better than anyone. Next level! Test and refine what is good and make it great!

Never underestimate the power of simplicity and of refinement in continuous improvement. It is at the core of equipping your organisation for growth.

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