How do you think Think Simple?

Picture Apple’s line of goods. Metallic MacBooks. thinnest iPhones ever. Whatever the product, it is stylish, appealing, and unmistakably Apple. It seems elegantly straightforward above all else. In fact, you can see that simplicity is at the core of Apple’s operations if you look at its product design, retail shops, and management’s interactions with its workers. Why? Considering that they are aware that simplicity is the most effective instrument for a contemporary corporation. Customers favor it. The workers adore it. And with it, management may propel a business to incredible heights.

But simplicity is difficult. Distilling a company’s brand, slicing through layers of departmental complexity, or streamlining a product line all need effort. The good news is that Ken Segall’s book Think Simple: How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity will give you the tools you need to simplify as well as insights from some of the most intelligent businesspeople.

We can’t help but complicate things. Our lives get increasingly complex as a species and as we learn, create, and advance. We make things more complicated by creating confusing bureaucracy and appliance manuals. Ironically, we enjoy simplicity. We favor items that are simple to use.

People who can clearly explain themselves tend to attract us. We adore businesses that have a memorable, straightforward brand. So why do we make things too complicated? Well, mainly because achieving simplicity is quite difficult. Being perceived as simple is more important than actually being simple.

Take a MacBook from Apple. Although it appears to be really straightforward, a lot of sophistication went into making it. Most MacBook owners would struggle to explain the sophisticated technology that powers their devices. Or think about ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. Ice cream can’t really be that complex, can it? What would seem to be a simple, delightful delicacy, complete with large chunks of sugar and cookie dough and swirls, was actually created through a difficult process.

Actually, when the business first began, traditional ice cream equipment could only handle minor components. However, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield developed a method to incorporate those substantial pieces and swirls in order to obtain their distinctive ice cream flavors. Then, to add to the difficulty, they had to find out how to mass-produce it, with all of its huge pieces.

Therefore, simplicity is not simple. However, businesses gain from being straightforward, which is exactly what Foolproof does. A UK-based digital design studio called Foolproof is expanding quickly. They create websites for well-known technology corporations, airlines, banks, and media organizations. And what distinguishes them is their capacity to simplify the user experience to the greatest extent.

They aim for “flow,” a term coined by the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, to achieve this. When a user is in a state of flow, they navigate through a website without thinking about what they are doing because everything is so natural to them.

This makes formerly unpleasant processes, like buying flights, incredibly straightforward and enjoyable. And even if Foolproof’s site designers worked really hard to accomplish this simplicity, the user won’t be aware of it at all. The definition of simplicity is something that appears simple on the surface but is actually quite difficult.

Everything you could want is only a click away. When it made e-commerce accessible to the general public, Amazon told the world this. And with that line—just a click away—Amazon discovered its corporate goal.

Not all businesses have a distinct mission. If you ask a gathering of people what Hewlett Packard or Dell represent, you’ll probably get a hundred different answers. Great businesses stand out in part because to their clear, compelling principles. Now that you know what a company mission is exactly, how do you go about creating one? All successful businesses have a core purpose that distinctly identifies them.

A company’s mission serves as the clear, compelling justification for all it does. A corporation may cut away anything unnecessary and get to the core of what it really stands for by outlining this explicitly. Few corporate missions are as clear-cut and well-defined as Apple’s. After an eleven-year absence, Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997, just as the business was starting to deteriorate. Within a short period of time, Jobs had restored the company’s spirit.

Why did he do this? Prior to regaining leadership, he created a new business mission in a presentation with the previous CEO, Gil Amelio. “Mission: deliver relevant, compelling solutions that customers can only get from Apple,” were written on a slide behind him. And that continues to be Apple’s goal today. Apple would be just another PC manufacturer without Jobs’ crystallizing vision, which gave the company its main goal. Instead, it’s a ground-breaking consumer electronics business that is well-known worldwide.

The establishment of the Apple Store by the corporation marked another significant turning point for Apple. This was a chance for Apple to show the world how its objective was being carried out, from the behavior of its staff to the appearance of its retail locations.

Ron Johnson, the person hired to create the Apple Store, expanded on Jobs’s main goal. He coined the phrase “Enrich Lives” specifically for the retail outlets. The goal of Apple Stores was to improve people’s lives, just as Apple’s mission was to create products that were focused on user requirements. Customers could expect passionate assistance in-store because of this, and Genius Bar help desks have always attracted smart workers. That is the strength of a clear and concise company mission.

Think about going through a job interview. Your prospective boss takes you on a tour of the workplace. She points to a picture on the wall of staff members participating in different silly and enjoyable team-building activities. That’s just how we do things around here, she chuckles.

She is making a point about the culture of the business. It is what gives a company its own personality. Additionally, it specifies everything, including how staff members interact with one another and how emails are written, going beyond simple team-building exercises. Any truly successful organization must have a strong corporate culture. Strong corporate cultures promote harmony and simplification.

Company culture, for one, swiftly informs employees of how things are done at the business. Consider Whole Foods, a large, international chain of health food stores. Their culture gives their staff members a genuine sense of purpose. And that goal is to recognize whole foods’ advantages as beneficial to people, communities, and the environment. Whole Foods employees frequently have a strong sense of commitment to this mission, which is contagious.

As an alternative, a strong business culture may inform employees that they are not a good match for the organization. John Browett, for instance, was appointed by Apple as their new senior vice president of retail in 2012. He once served as the CEO of the British retail giant Dixons. Browett initially failed to “understand” Apple’s entire philosophy. Browett shortened hours, limited promotions, and sacked personnel in order to increase short-term earnings rather than “enriching lives.” He just wasn’t a good fit for the workplace environment. Within nine months, he was gone.

In addition to establishing expectations for workers, a company’s culture can bring together a diverse workforce. That is exactly what the corporate culture of Electronic Arts, a sizable US-based video game developer, has achieved. The business had to bring together teams that didn’t naturally mesh, such video game designers and programmers. The response from Electronic Arts has been to promote a culture where everyone feels like they are working together as a team to achieve common objectives.

Because it helps build a clear, consistent set of beliefs and unites a firm under one banner, a strong culture may be a tremendous simplifying tool. Imagine Steve Jobs wearing his trademark ensemble, which includes a black turtleneck, blue trousers, and New Balance sneakers. His hands-on leadership style was another aspect of Jobs that was equally defining. He frequently strolled into Apple’s corporate offices to check on various divisions and provide suggestions.

Noting that he wasn’t micromanaging is crucial. Yes, he was eager to express his opinions, but he was constantly persuaded by someone else’s strong viewpoint. He was able to encourage discussion and move teams forward by delving into the details while also hearing suggestions from the subject-matter experts.

Jobs’ style of leadership was actually essential to how Apple operated and to its minimalism. The CEO of a company is essential to achieving simplicity.

Apple was able to eliminate layers of bureaucracy in the decision-making process thanks to Steve Jobs’ strategy. Jobs would simply visit the source department, as opposed to a proposal flowing up via many levels of approval. He had the chance to work in an open manner because of this. He might either endorse the suggestion, challenge employees to better fulfill the company’s objective, or simply listen to their concerns. He would be attentive to even the slightest detail, such as the contours of a brand-new laptop or the unique way a button feels.

This casual, hands-on leadership style ensured that the company’s goal remained undiluted. Actually, Apple found it simpler to stick to its elegantly straightforward objective because Steve Jobs was so close to the action.

The Container Store co-founder and previous CEO Kip Tindell is another supporter of this style of management. He encouraged open collaboration while creating The Container Store, an American retailer that specializes in storage products. Instead of a rigidly structured decision-making process, he has promoted informal, open communication among all divisions of the organization.

The Container Store’s employees are aware of the worth of their opinions because of this openness. People are free to express themselves and share fresh ideas with Tindell in an environment he has created.

And what’s this? The company has been able to profit from its ability to be successful and inventive by eliminating the need for countless levels of permission and allowing employees to express their opinions directly to the CEO.

As we’ve seen, a strong sense of alignment with the company objective is essential for success. Everyone must be on the same page in order for things to happen, which means they must all share the company’s perspective. That is why assembling a winning team is so important for a business to succeed. A robust and well-organized business depends on having the right staff in place.

Check out my related post: Why you should have simple habits for complex times as a leader?


Interesting reads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27036527-think-simple

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