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Why Simple Wins with Lisa Bodell

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In a world where complexity is killing many companies’ ability to innovate and adapt, simplicity is fast becoming a competitive advantage. Brian recently interviewed author and keynote speaker Lisa Bodell to learn why simplicity is key to business success. Here are some of the top takeaways:

Simplicity means focusing on what matters most

The common myth that ‘more is better’ is often not true in business because it can lead to a loss of focus. Entrepreneurs commonly fall into this trap because they feel obliged to spread their bets. They start with a really good and simple idea but then, as more opportunity presents itself, they try more and more until they’re eventually spinning too many plates. It’s then that they have to come back to center and decide what really matters. When you focus on simplicity, you focus on what matters most. It’s not about doing more, it’s about doing valuable. As a business owner, you have to ask yourself – what can you stop doing and how can you build that into people’s cultures and your strategic planning? When you get rid of the unnecessary, you make space for the good things to happen.

Simplicity is the front end of innovation

There’s a serious lack of innovation in many companies today. It’s not surprising: when people hear ‘be innovative,’ their first reaction often is that they don’t even have time to think! The first step when you’re trying to innovate isn’t about ideas, it’s about creating space for thinking to happen. Most people do their best thinking when they’re alone and it’s quiet, like in the shower, on a walk or driving. The problem is, we don’t give ourselves enough time to get our best ideas. Instead, we try to brainstorm on Zoom calls when no-one’s had any thinking time – it’s no wonder that bad ideas are the outcome! To get innovative, we have to create space to think so we can build our best ideas together.

Time is a commodity

As an entrepreneur and business owner, you really need to think about the value of people’s time. Communicate with your team to define what valuable work means to them. Everyone needs to know that they can say yes or no to things and be free to reprioritize. A great way to start this process is to hold a ‘kill a stupid rule’ session every quarter. This kind of structured forum will help you to uncover where people feel their time is being wasted. The golden rule for everyone should be ‘spend your time the way you want others to spend your time.’

Simplification is the key to eliminating unproductive and time-sucking activities and creating a corporate culture where essential and meaningful work is the norm.  To learn more, tune in to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life”.

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