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Complexity Never Gets the Most Likes
Posted on: February 27, 2019 Author:
Managing many things in today’s society is complex no matter a business’s size or industry. As the industry evolves, running a risk management or business continuity program will continue to become more complex without the right management and insights.
When evaluating many different programs and processes from companies of all industries and sizes, the one piece that always stands out is when the complexity of the design trumps the overall program goals. A big part of that is many times the importance of simplicity gets overlooked. It is important to take a step back and integrate best practices in order to simplify and achieve overall program success.
Don’t over-analyze. Ask yourself “Is this really the best way to do it?” and “Is this necessary for the success of my program?”
Don’t over-engineer. Complexity does not always mean you have best-in-class, it likely means that you are going to spend more time training staff, rolling out strategy, and executing your program.
Take all perspectives into account. If you have a team of individuals, welcome input. Different minds coming together can drive the best solution for what you are trying to achieve with your program. Don’t discredit the less experienced because they may be the ones whose fresh ideas can change the program for the better.
It is, of course, important to strive for a successful program while achieving business needs. However, challenge yourself to think outside the box and question why particular processes and functions are a certain way. Is this a business requirement? Is this a prerequisite for your leadership to see? Can we simplify it? One of the worst things someone can say is, “This is the way we’ve always done it.” But, this type of thinking doesn’t allow for innovation and creativity. It is imperative to get out of the “always done it this way,” mindset in order to move program, and the industry, forward.
So how do we get out of this mindset?
Step 1: Be a leader and collaborator. Make sure to welcome all feedback from your team. This goes back to taking all perspectives into account because not all great ideas come from the most tenured members.
Step 2: Discuss your program goals and objectives. Break down siloes and unite your team and your leadership. Ask the them:
What will make us successful?
How can we streamline our program to be efficient?
What is our overall business needs?
Step 3: Prioritize your initiatives. Once your goals and objectives are aligned, move into discussing the tasks that will achieve those goals. As much as we all want to do everything right away, realistically that usually isn’t feasible. Work on getting the top items done first and progressively working your way through the remaining. This approach allows you to get things done well and correct the first time. Not everything done fast is done well.
Step 4: Delegate accountability. Show your business executives that you can drive accountability. The more accountable and job “worth” your team feels, the more engaged they will be in making the program successful.
I’ve seen many programs come to fruition from complex to simple, but it’s those who aimed for simplicity are not only the most successful, but also the happiest with their end results.
Hans Hofmann once said, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may speak.”
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