As we reach our fourth Anniversary here at MarchFifteen and the third Anniversary of our Family and Independent Business Practice, we wanted to reflect on Simplicity – a common theme that has come up in conversations with our clients. My business partner Edyta Pacuk, President and Founder of MarchFifteen, did a fantastic speech and blog on Simplicity: A Disciplined Approach To Less for our Anniversary celebration.
In relation to family and independent business, there are a number of takeaways on simplicity that I share with you as excerpts from Edyta’s blog.
Not only is simplicity something our clients have been talking about, it seems to be the next big thing in business too, with books like Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKoewn coming out recently, likely in response to the very busy world we live in as entrepreneurs and employees. Supporting this idea are additional findings, highlighting the importance of simplicity in business today:
- Deloitte has recently released global research in which they claim more than 60% of their employees feel “overwhelmed” by the volume of activity, complexity and messages they get.
- Some organizations are actually trying to do something about it, and to that end GE has just launched a strategy on how to simplify business. The company is teaching managers how to focus, showing people how to spend more time with customers and simplifying its back office processes.
- Remember the great simple mottos of the past: IBM – “Think”, Nordstrom’s rule – “Use good judgement” and Nike’s – “Just Do It”? These simple statements have been used in the respective organizations to help people focus. When mottos are simple, it allows for them to be remembered and adhered to more easily.
If we can cite one enemy of simplicity, it is likely fear. Our fear of being inadequate, or not enough, and of wanting to be so competent, often leads to worry and to over complicating our organizations and lives. This is very true within family and independent businesses. We can overcomplicate relationships with peers and family members, strategies for the business and everyday discussions, rather than simplify them. In short, here are a couple of the suggestions Edyta came up with to help in reducing the clutter and noise within your life, both personally and professionally:
- Focus – Get focused or stay focused on one issue, task or challenge. Not 23.
- Prioritize – Most us have our daily to-do lists, but rarely do we create a “not to-do” list.
- Learn to let it go – Remember in work and in life nothing has meaning until you assign meaning to it. Rather than interpreting things that others do to us in a negative way because of fear, step back, clarify with them or let it go.
- Trust people around you and delegate – People are wonderful at stepping up to a new challenge, and trusting their capabilities opens up space for you to do other things that are essential to you.
- Learn to assert and say “no” – It is difficult; being asked feeds our sense of self-importance, but without your ability to set boundaries there will be no space for simplicity in your life.
We hope the importance of simplicity resonates with you on both a personal and business level, and that it provokes a little more thinking about the subject.