Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

The Importance of Simplifying

January 22, 2023

by Robert Stevenson

Great management guru, Peter Drucker, was awarded over 25 honorary doctorates. He wrote 39 books that were translated in over 30 languages … which adds up to over 10,000 pages of his insights on business. One of my favorite quotes by him is: “Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.”

Following that same line of thought, Walmart has a contest every year on WHAT ARE THE STUPIDIEST THINGS WE DO and awards prizes for the best responses. They believe genius lies in simplifying the process, not complicating it; Drucker and Walmart see eye-to-eye on the importance of simplifying processes.

If I could give you one word to help make your company better, department better, team better, and you better – it’s SIMPLIFY. The successful companies today are doing everything they can to streamline (simplify) operations. Complicated policies, procedures, rules and regulations are being simplified, replaced, or deleted. There is a quote I heard years ago that falls right in line with SIMPLIFY:

“Subtraction is the exercise of genius … addition is the exercise of fools.”

Stated a little differently – “Simplifying is the exercise of genius … complicating is the exercise of fools.” So, streamline your operations every chance you get. Here is an easy rule to follow to help you get started. If you can’t tell me why you do something … then quit doing it.

The great companies (and leaders) today are staying calm, keeping a clear head, focusing their efforts, and simplifying every chance they get. Discipline becomes the rule, and simplifying what they do best, the goal. Many companies lose sight of their core business. They get too busy re-organizing or re-restructuring when they should be busy eliminating unnecessary, outdated, confusing, complicated, costly policies, procedures, and rules.

Everyone in your company needs to know why they do what they do … and if you can’t explain that in terms they can understand, you have a REAL problem. Doing what you’ve always done may NOW be wrong, so I’ll say it again: If you can’t tell me why you do something … quit doing it.

breaks down into two steps:
Step One - Identifying the essential
Step Two - Eliminate the rest

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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