I have just come back from running a Mastermind accountability group, full of ambitious business directors.
All of these impressive people were trying to be their best, yet all revealed a frustration at the ever-increasing complexity of things.
At the end of the day, I asked for one action they will take, when they will take it and how we will know that they have completed the action with the results they are seeking.
They were all clear about what they will do, and that is a good thing.
Then I asked...
“What is your one ‘aha’ from the day, the one thing you saw or heard or felt that made you gasp?"
The group unanimously quoted a throwaway line from me, that I wasn’t even aware anyone had heard.
Clearly they had: “It’s all about simplicity and focus” they stated “And flawless execution.”
So, why was this the aha moment?
Well we seem incapable of keeping things simple: every additional idea, app, customer, service, KPI or online platform simply makes for increased complexity.
Soon this becomes overload, and we lose sight of simplicity and focus. Yet what of the words “flawless execution”.
Why did they strike such a chord with the group?
My experience is that most people are not practiced in strategic thinking and planning.
With too many choices, and too many trade-offs the threat of losing out on something if we are not present. All this creates a lack of focus - the belief that we can have and can do it all creates the very complexity we have been trying to avoid.
As a result mediocre plans are created with bland, broad goals, and far too many of them.
The consequence is that you end up with a huge muddle.
Refocusing towards simplicity has to be activated again and again in an effort to hunt down complexity, remove it, and create the basis for flawless execution.
In order to strip down your model and create simplicity, you need brutal honesty.
With radical candour you must confront the truth and not hide behind any illusion of how it might be.
Seek out the reality and deal with it!
Because I look at businesses and so often see mediocrity in the thinking and the planning and execution.
That is why at every level we need to up our game.
With this phrase the Directors in the room took it on: they know the choice is theirs. ' And for everyone reading this, I ask, do you want to satisfy yourself with mediocre results from a mediocre business, or…
go for it: seek out that simplicity, and focus and flawless execution that will change your business and your life.