Everyone talks the talk. It’s easy. It’s safe. But sooner or later, you need to take the first step toward simplification. This is when only a few people will start to walk the walk.
Yes, simplification is necessary. However, making simplification a reality in your business is difficult. To help you get there, here are five things you should keep in mind.
1. A simpler culture must be driven and sponsored by senior leadership
A single employee who desires a simpler culture is not sufficient. Rather, the shift to simplify must start from the very top and filter down the workforce chain. Organizational changes need to be pushed along by senior leadership with a unified and authoritative voice.
Launching a simpler culture calls for the lateral and vertical support of everyone. In essence, unity is the best form of simplicity.
2. Cross-functional commitment, alignment, and design are not optional
The HR department of the company wants to simplify its processes. The CHRO is on board. But what good does that do if the finance department is not aligned and committed to simplification? None at all.
As mentioned before, every organization must be aligned with each other in the pursuit of a simpler culture. It’s easy to get silos within the company to do things individually. However, the harder, more rewarding prerogative is the elimination of silos while aligning everyone with this approach.
3. Treat it like a major cultural change – with due diligence, budgeting, and discipline
It’s not enough to throw a little bit of money at transforming your culture with just a few days of work. This method will only bring failure and potentially more complexity. To nurture a simpler culture, leadership must focus diligently on the task at hand.
Everyone wants simplicity, but few succeed. In fact, achieving simplification itself is not simple at all. The key is putting in the necessary legwork to get there.
4. User-centric workforce designs and practices emerge where innovation is required
Understanding workforce needs, wants, and desires is vital to fostering a simpler culture. By designing work tools, communication, training, and development with simpler criteria, the entire workforce ultimately benefits. So instead of 20 boxes on your checklist, distill your list down to 5. This enables your organization to push the principle of simplicity while making sure more-effective information is captured. In addition, technology must reflect the new “consumerization” of IT and meet user-centric standards.
5. Analysis and measurement must be ongoing and consistent
Don’t just implement a simpler culture and leave it be. As an organization, you must consistently monitor how complexity is affecting your business and adjust accordingly. A simple culture cannot cultivate itself, rather it needs repeated, balanced attention.
Some complexity is obviously necessary for the success of a business in its functional aspects. But at its core, simplicity must be the mantra. To resist becoming too simple and maintain a healthy equilibrium among your employees, customers, and the company, repeated analysis is needed.
The hard work when creating a simpler culture is the Future of Work. To discover how to measure your company’s simpler culture and the metrics that can help, download the e-book “ .”
I hope this series gives you an idea on how to create a simpler culture. Now, let’s start walking!
This is the third of a three-part blog series on the Simplicity Culture Map in partnership with Bill Jensen. To read the entire series, read these blogs:
- Part 1: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons: A Simple Solution for Overcoming Complexity
- Part 2: Remembering the Middle Child: Your Employees
Want more insight on simplifying your business processes? See Business Simplification 2015: The Unmet Strategic Imperative.