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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

The Importance Of Simplifying

Robert Stevenson Blog - Why do we do that?

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 They get too busy re-organizing or re-restructuring when they should be busy eliminating unnecessary, outdated, confusing, complicated, costly policies, procedures, and rules.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


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