Monday, January 13, 2020

读书笔记 - Why Simple Wins

Lisa Bodell, the author of "Kill the company" discussed how to "Escape the complexity trap and get to work that matters" in this book. She used 8 chapters to talk about the complexity problem, root cause and solutions. In the appendix, she also listed 50 questions for simplifying.

1. Creating the monster

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." --Confucius

Our failure to take time in the moment to get down to what really matters sets us on the path to complication.
Each day, more than one hundred billion emails are sent and received, but fewer than a seventh of them are actually important.
More than 70 percent of organizations in a recent study ranked simplification as an important challenge, and more than a quarter cited it as "very important".

2. The What and Why of Complexity

"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be meetings." --Dave Barry

Complexity often crops up indirectly and undetected, as an unintended side effect in the course of problem solving.

Simplicity: Something that's properly simplified is: Minimal, understandable, repeatable, accessible.
Complexity: It's a process, product, communication, or procedure that lacks of these four elements.

Our demand for reporting and accountability drives the pursuit of more.
A great deal of complexity is driven by something even more basic: our emotional needs.

3. Gauging your complexity problem

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Too many approval processes
Frustrated customers
Coordination overload
Too many rule changes
The end of easy
Mystery rules
An acronym Zoo (too many acronym)

How to gauge?
step 1: complete diagnostic
step 2: tally points/receive diagnosis
step 3: identify high-scoring categories
step 4: articulate core problems and discuss
step 5: brainstorm solutions and discuss

In general, the diagnostic established that the greatest source of frustration was other people's behaviors.

Face up to your complexity problem now.

4. Work that matters

"There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth." --Leo Tolstoy

Get the work right, you get the culture right.

Nothing separates individuals more from a sense that their work is worthwhile than the curse of complication.
Employees of today and tomorrow want workplaces where the processes and rules that structure work are as minimal, understandable, repeatable, and accessible as possible.

Get rid of things that aren't working to make space for new things that are.
Although largely unseen and unspoken, simplicity is the most fundamental gateway to innovative thinking and action.

Business results that matter. Cut the complexity. Make it shockingly easy for the people buying your products and services to get what they want with minimum hassle.

5. The simplicity mindset

"Behind every brand providing simpler experiences is a leader that understands the true value of them." -- Margaret Molloy

A new golden rule: make others' lives as simple as possible, just as you would like them to do for you.

Leaders require a broad mindset of simplicity: a set of beliefs, traits, and qualities that incline them to embark on simplification initiatives and see them through.

There are six primary leadership characteristics
#1 Courage
You are not afraid to challenge the status quo. You are comfortable with change and the unknown. You call people out who are being needlessly complex.

#2 Minimalist sensibility
You know the value of less. You seek to eliminate tasks or barriers that hold you back from doing more valuable work. You approach everything you do by asking, "Is this the simplest way to do this and still reach our goal?"

#3 Results orientation
Simplicity isn't just about cutting costs for you. You do it because you want to get things done. You like clear outcomes and accountability.

#4 Focus
You don't give up. You stick with an effort that will help you reach your goals despite resistance. You see push-back as a way to get information and make your case stronger. you don't let business as usual get in the way of simplifying things over the long term.

#5 Personal Engagement
You "Walk the walk". You actively seek ways to simplify and you do it, while empowering others to do the same.

#6 Decisiveness
You like to move things forward quickly. You don't let a consensus-driven culture slow things down unnecessarily.

Effective simplifies need to have an intuitive appreciation for less.

6. The simplicity toolkit

"The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed-it is a process of elimination." --Elbert Hubbard

Five steps to simplicity
#1 Awareness
#2 Identification
#3 Prioritization
#4 Execution
#5 Habit Formation

Crafting Simplification Tools
step 1: define simplification challenge
step 2: choose one to three areas of complexity
step 3: answer five questions within each area
step 4: generate three to five solutions for simplifying

Killing Complexity
step 1: complete the task worksheet
step 2: identify the top five time-consuming tasks
step 3: evaluate the top five time-consuming tasks
step 4: plot two tasks on the simplicity versus value matrix
step 5: brainstorm solutions

Kill a stupid rule
step 1: Identify stupid rules
step 2: Plot two stupid rules on matrix
step 3: evaluate and discuss as a group
step 4: kill stupid rules

Simplification tactics
step 1: choose at least three business areas
step 2: review tactics within business areas
step 3: choose at leat two tactics per area
step 4: propose tactics and discuss as a group

The big drivers to complexity were small tasks
Internal meetings
checking and answering email

7. Become the chief simplification officer

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." --Hans Hofmann

Culture is the work we do every day.
The strategies for building simplicity into the ethos of the organization
#1: set a vision
#2: weave simplicity into your long-term strategy
#3: streamline management layers
#4: simplify decision-making
#5: establish clear metrics
#6: create a simplification code of conduct
#7: build a simplification team
#8: focus
#9: increase employee engagement
#10: communicate with clarity
#11: train the next wave of simplifies
#12: walk the walk

8. Getting simplification right

"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." --Frederic Chopin

Rapid cycle innovation methodology.

Understand the gap (What) -> Test + Validate Assumptions (Why) -> Brainstorm solutions (What if) -> Identify a solution -> Acid-Test the solution (How) -> Implement + Monitor -> Refine + Sustain (Do it)

Getting simpler, one cycle at a time.
There are certain lessons that can put any organization's simplification efforts on a surer path to success.
#1 Establish simplicity as a key strategic priority for the organization
#2 Clearly define and communicate what the process will look like, enabling employees to adjust
#3 Maintain a very small, central team charged with facilitating simplification
#4 Focus on a few things, not everything
#5 When tackling complexity problems, maintain a mix of specialists and generalists
#6 Coach leaders to become facilitators
#7 Get started

Maintaining focus over the long term.

50 Questions for simplifying (in following categories)
Is it valuable?
Is it minimal?
Is it understandable?
Is it repeatable?
Is it accessible?

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