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Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity
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Simplexity Management - The “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity

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An eBook exploring the dynamic interrelationship between complexity and simplicity through series of famous and not-so-famous quotes. It provides key insights and implications for businesses operating …

An eBook exploring the dynamic interrelationship between complexity and simplicity through series of famous and not-so-famous quotes. It provides key insights and implications for businesses operating in today's highly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment.

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  • 1. SIMPLEXITY MANAGEMENTThe “Art” of Complexity and the “Smart” of Simplicity Sanjiv M Karani @SanjivKarani
  • 2. FOREWORDThe term “Simplexity” captures the dynamic interrelationshipbetween Simplicity and Complexity. If complexity is a fact oflife than simplicity is a quest of life. One does not exist ormatter without the other. In this eBook, I explore theseimportant concepts through series of quotes (some famousand some not-so-famous). Within the context of each quote, Ialso highlight the key insights and implications for businesseseverywhere. – Sanjiv Karani
  • 3. 1. “You tell me it is too early to be looking back, but that is because you have forgotten the perfect simplicity of being one and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.” – William Collins Complexity is really the fusion of three things: 1) The number and variety of components, systems and people within a company and across its value chain, 2) The interrelationships among all of them and 3) The pace at which 1 and 2 are changing. Complexity is indeed beautiful as without complexity, the world would be a linear and boring place and we would all be making minimum wages.
  • 4. 2. “Everything is simpler than you think, and at the same time, more complex than you imagine.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of us may find beauty in “simple” while others may find beauty in “complex.” It is all about our individual perception, attitude, focus and culmination of our lifelong experiences. For example, creative-type individuals may perceive analytical work to be highly complex and vice versa. The key is the relentless pursuit of our passion to perfect and simplify the complex knowledge over time.
  • 5. 3. “Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.” – Winston Churchill Without the complex and intimate understanding of the problem, situation or issue, we cannot even begin to address it, let alone simplify it. In other words, we have to first conquer complexity before we can conquer simplicity. It is only after discovery of the initial solution that we can iterate through the continuous improvement cycle of simpler, faster, better solutions.
  • 6. 4. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein Einstein’s genius stands the test of time. Simplification is an ultimate quest for all of us, but over-simplification of certain aspects of our business strategy may in fact kill our company. There is only so much we can simplify without sacrificing the ultimate functionality, quality and utility that sets apart our company’s offering from the others. Everything in excess is poison, and that applies to simplification.
  • 7. 5. “Our biggest limit is no longer the reach of our imagination. It’s now our inability to order, make sense of, and connect everything that demands our attention. We are failing to make the complex clear.” – Bill Jensen, author of Simplicity It is not really complexity that is holding us back; it is a lack of clear communication to our employees in how they can be successful in this new dynamic world with gazillion choices. It is having a deeper purpose (or meaning) of our organization’s existence, its core values and being able to clearly articulate that to all of our stakeholders in the simplest way possible.
  • 8. 6. “If necessity is the mother of invention, then complexity is the mother of innovation.” – Sanjiv Karani Complexity is the ultimate catalyst for innovation. It is a constant inspiration and motivation for all of us to conceive of simpler, faster, better, cheaper offerings that create strong value for the customers. These offerings can be new products, services, solutions, processes, customer interactions and/or business models. Complexity provides a clear focus and purpose to our innovation quest and enables us to be a resilient organization that is ready for any challenge.
  • 9. 7. “The biggest barrier most companies now face in delivering value is managing the complexity of their own business processes.” – Tom Nies, Founder & CEO, Cincom Complexity is the new reality, and the rapid escalation of complexity is identified as the number-one challenge facing CEOs as per IBM Global CEO Study. According to IBM, 79% of CEOs predict even greater complexity ahead. However, more than 50% doubt their ability to manage it. Clarifying, capitalizing and conquering complexity is going to be a top strategic imperative for the organizations all over the world.
  • 10. 8. “I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes This ties in beautifully with the quote #3 by Winston Churchill in that you have to nail complexity before you nail simplicity. Because the simplicity that comes before true understanding of all the nuances and complicating factors is all superficial, inane and naive. Such simplicity does not provide any value to anyone. Eric Berlow in his 3 minute video at TED showed how complexity leads to simplicity. Also, often times, the true answer is also remarkably simple, you just have to be on the far side of complexity in order to see it clearly.
  • 11. 9. “Really, I am not afraid of complexity at all. On the contrary, this just motivates me.” – Jacques Pellas, Secrétaire Général, Dassault Aviation It all boils down to the notion of customer value creation. Would we rather be perceived as a complex enterprise that creates enormous value for our customers or a simple enterprise that creates almost no value for our customers? If complexity enables us to deliver step-change value to our customers, it is absolutely worth it. On the contrary, if complexity gets in the way of serving and delighting our customers, it is an internal complication that needs to be eradicated.
  • 12. 10. “We struggle with the complexities and avoid the simplicities.” – Norman Vincent Peale Complexity and simplicity always exist together as two sides of the same coin. Good complexity is our company’s know-how and know-why honed over the years to build our competitive advantage, while simplicity on the other side is masking this complexity (behind the curtains) to deliver the most intuitive, compelling and delightful customer experiences. It is only when we add the complexity of human behavior to the complexity of markets, customers and enterprise that we begin to see the total picture.
  • 13. 11. “When things look very simple, you need to look for a competitive edge. When things are complex, you simplify to get the competitive advantage.” – Graeme Liebelt, former MD & CEO, Orica Limited In order to outwit our competition, we need to constantly develop a set of distinctive capabilities that can only be mastered and delivered by us. We should also inspect each and every aspect of our business (i.e. processes, technology, people interactions) and anything that takes away from our quest for “total customer experience” needs to be simplified.
  • 14. 12. “In today’s dynamic environment, Simplexity (i.e., simultaneous perfection of simplicity and complexity) is the organization’s only form of sustainable competitive advantage.” – Sanjiv Karani In the current global, turbulent and hyper-competitive environment, complexity/simplicity is no longer an either/or proposition. In order for you to drive and thrive in this economic environment, you require the mastery of both complexity and simplicity.
  • 15. CONCLUSIONAs Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is theability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, andstill retain the ability to function.” Complexity and simplicity areperhaps the most important opposing ideas that we deal with on anongoing basis. The Simplexity Management provides us with aholistic approach to customer value creation and total customerexperience.Long live complexity! Long live simplicity! – Sanjiv Karani

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