Tuesday Tips

One of the best ways to help your team – and yourself – respond to an increasingly complex world is to simplify. Our organisations are programmed to respond to complexity by adding regulations, systems and processes. Think of the ways in which banks have been regulated since the 2008 financial crash. Think of your own company and how many rules and regulations there are, governing everything from who eats where to what you wear, from parking allocations to phone etiquette, and more important issues like reporting, compliance and accountability. Not all of these rules should be removed, of course – many are there for good reason. But some of them can be removed, or at least simplified.

If we have any hope of dealing with complexity, we need to give ourselves space and time to do so. Simplifying is a key way to do just that.

Here are 3 simple ways for you to simplify:

  • Send fewer emails. Email creates email. The more you send, the more you’ll receive. A number of years ago, a colleague of mine experimented with sending less email – his inbox diminished quickly. Choose one day of the week where emails can’t be sent and see how this works for your team.
  • Simplify your meetings. Make sure your agendas do three key things to assist you: each line item on your meeting agenda should include (1) the outcome required (is it a decision that must be made, information shared, action to be committed to, etc), (2) the name(s) of the people responsible, and (3) a time allocation. Oh, and make sure you HAVE an agenda for every meeting. Refuse to go to meetings where agendas are not sent out in advance.
  • Challenge your rules. Some rules are good and necessary, but many rules hold organisations and talented people back. Go on a crusade to eliminate the unnecessary rules in your business; remove the shackles that stifle creativity and passionate energy. If you’re a team leader, make a specific time and space (in your team meetings) for people to challenge the rules. Dumb rules kill ingenuity, passion, innovation and a host of powerful values in the name of conformity and rules for the sake of rules.

This is an excerpt from one of our pieces in the Future of Work Academy where the list extends to include another 7 ways to simplify. We invite you to join our Future of Work Academy Facebook page to find out more about the Academy and get a feel for the type of content we share, or sign up for the Academy and see what it’s all about. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee so really, you’ve got nothing to lose.

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