Simplicity is a competitive advantage. Most people overcomplicate things, and when they do they lose their effectiveness.
Here are some examples I've seen and, sadly, even played a part in:
* An 18-page performance review. You know you've complicated things when your thesaurus runs out of words to help you.
* An 88-slide fiscal strategy PowerPoint for a small retail chain. By slide 36 I knew it was going to be a bad year.
* A checklist for a checklist. You can't make this stuff up.
* I was once invited to a meeting to prepare for a planning meeting for a meeting. I declined. I was too worried I'd be confused about which meeting we were talking about.
* A store's fifteen-steps of the sale. I always figured by step eight the salesperson either quit on the sale or just told the customer to take it or leave it.
It's human nature to want more. If that weren't the case Costco wouldn't have a business model and Dr. Drew wouldn't have a television show.
It's not easy to be simple.
It's easier to write a paragraph than a sentence.
It's easier to make the store look great by making twelve floor moves than three, but three gives you more time with the customer.
Why can't a performance review or a strategic plan be one page? It might be hard to create but it would be a lot easier for everyone to understand and execute.
Don't confuse "keeping it simple" with "dumbing it down." People know the difference. Dumbing down is not how you win friends and influence people.
Of course you'll be ineffective if you're too simple, but that's rarely the problem. Especially for owners, executives, and managers.
The simplest way to keep from overcomplicating things is to keep asking yourself, "Is this simply brilliant?" If it's not, you need to determine what has to change and/or be removed.
Remember, simplicity is a competitive advantage.
So let me ask, can you be simply brilliant today?
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies to improve their on-floor and management performance. Vist our website or call him at 866-535-6331 to discuss improving your company's customer experience and results.