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2018: The Year of Simplifying How We Work
February 01,2018 [ by Larry Chao ] 776 Read and 0 Comment

This year, more than ever, I will work with companies to simplify what they do and fight complexity.

Last year, it seemed companies embarked on many discrete initiatives and not enough harmony and integration. With so many different lists of priorities, we ended up with no priorities.

There was no lack of effort, but a lack of agreeing what tasks were really critical, then working together to achieve them. As a result, many projects were started and left partially completed. Those that were completed, checked all the boxes, yet did not achieve the desired result.

We became activities-driven, not results-driven. It's like you build a car with pieces made in separate silos. When all the pieces come together, some fit, some do not. Most importantly, when you turn on the ignition to start the car, nothing happens. Everyone did their job, but the car does not run.

As companies grow more complex - more specialization, more globalization, more change, the adage “too many cooks spoil the broth,” becomes very real. In an effort to accommodate all stakeholders, execution suffers.

2017 taught us that more often that not, you can't compromise and cater to everyone's whims and end up with the best solutions. It just does not work that way in the real world, and the sooner we realize it, the more successful we will be.

In 2018 we will cut to the chase and define only value-added contributions. The goal is to launch solutions with business impact and avoid fruit salad results. The challenge is to do this and still involve the best thinking and experience companies have to offer.

Unless we simplify how we plan, work, and clarify how we will integrate all the discrete efforts in an organization, no matter how extraordinary an idea sounds, it will suffer from the web of complexity.

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