Simplicity and Focus

I’ve been studying and working with extraordinary organizations and top performing individuals for over thirty years. The most common and powerful factor in all of their successes has been the ability to simplify and focus. The two go hand in hand, because in order to get to simplicity, you have to have focus.

Have Problems. Do It Wrong.

The Head of School at my daughter’s high school asked the assembled parents a question, “How many of you want your children to learn to be problem-solvers?” All hands went up. He then asked, “How many of you want your children to have problems in school this year?” One or two hands went up, mine included.

And This is How We Lose…

My friend Scott McKain wrote a great blog about the true nature of what being a champion means. He uses sports as a great analogy to show that it’s not a matter of dominance, but rather a matter of degree. It made me think of another perspective on winning which is completely different than sports. Think about how we win, and become champions, in business.

This Old “Truth” Is A Lie

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” That quote has been attributed to everyone from Mark Twain to Henry Ford to Albert Einstein. Whoever said it was wrong. Or at least they’d be wrong today. Today, that old “truth” is a lie. Here’s what’s true: If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll begin to get less and less than you’ve always gotten.

Happy. Easy.

The Power of Happy. “I don’t care if my employees are happy” = “I don’t know much about business.” A Harvard Business Review analysis showed happy workers were 31% more productive, had 37% higher sales, and were three times more creative.

Keep It Simple.

To the extent that you make things simple for your customers, you create value. You also create a distinct competitive advantage shared by virtually all market leaders. Chances are very good that you’re making things way more complicated than they need to be, for yourself, your team, and your customers. Look around. The best companies and the top individual performers make things simple.