I came across a quote from Dave Writes that was cause for an mmmhmmm moment. Dave quotes Georgescu-Roegen from Vanderbilt as saying this about his personal mentor:
He also taught me that things are never as complicated as they seem. It is only our arrogance that prompts us to find unnecessarily complicated answers to simple problems.
Working to look smarter or to be sound more innovative or progressive often comes across just like that–you’re working at it…which often reads as arrogance or ultimately smoke-and-mirrors. How many times have you attended a meeting and suddenly realized an hour was spent talking about a perceived issue that could have been handled in a phone call or better yet by just acting on it and not talking about acting on it?
Here are 3 suggestions I have for keeping it simple-and-direct:
1. If it has to be a Team Project, make it a Team of Two (at least to begin with).
2. Set out to answer questions–not to set up a process.
3. Replace project initiative documentation with check-lists. Yes list! Lists are action-oriented. Project initiative documents are, well, documents. Documents keep you behind the desk, not in action.
4. Call people up and ask their opinions. Don’t email them documentation for review and recommendations.
5. Know when to say, “we’re all done here.” Then give it away.