Effectiveness in simplicity

Juho Hiltunen
Deputy CEO, Banque Havilland S.A.

Often we find ourselves balancing between trying to achieve everything and delivering the best quality. Most of us have probably experienced delivering on tight deadline knowing it could have been done better.

The very same applies at corporate level. Clear and focused strategies allows corporates to dedicate resources to master the work in greater detail and deliver better quality. Critical review of business strategies, decisions to either focus or expand are all part of normal course of corporate lifecycle. Decisions are taken to maximize value to all stakeholders and deliver best possible service to clients.

Large corporates can have multiple business lines and each different strategies, it is however inevitable that these business lines compete of same resources whether it is capital, human resources or simply attention in the boardroom.  The complexity of today´s environment drives toward greater specialisation. It is difficult to master and conduct ones business to the full satisfaction of your client if you are trying to do everything.

Why then some strategies work and others do not. Suppose this depends on the actual circumstances, but in general, we can say that often less is more when it comes to strategic objectives.

Simple strategy has a clear benefit that everyone understands it. The beauty of a simple solution is that it won’t be difficult for your team members, throughout all layers of your organisation, to understand the vision. The more complicated the instruction, the greater the jeopardy that the message will be lost in translation as it disseminates from the top down. A clear, concise vision that can be boiled down and communicated directly maximizes your chances of everyone “getting it.” This is half the battle.

Buying into it. One should not underestimate the direct correlation between people’s level of confidence when they understand the message and their willingness to support it passionately.

Not only is it critical that your employees understand the vision, it is equally important that your customer base does, too. Who you are, what you do and what you stand for certainly will influence your customers’ decisions. As it relates to your brand, the clear and simple message has the maximum possibility of reaching the broadest customer audience.

The more things that have to happen right for your business to succeed, the greater the risk. Well-functioning and successful companies focus on what drives their economic engines, a single ratio that highlights a single ‘X’ that will produce the highest return. Companies able to grow quickly are ones who have a clear understanding of what drives them. They also can replicate their successes quickly and efficiently.

Overly complex strategies not only are hard to implement, they often make it more difficult to measure results. The most successful companies have a straightforward direction, along with clear and simple measuring sticks that keep them on track.

More complicated programs will always take longer to implement as well as to master. Keeping strategies simple allows all involved to develop a quicker understanding, thus shortening the learning curve and accelerating the time to mastery. Once this occurs, a company is ready for explosive growth.

It is wise to remember the old but tried and tested philosophy: choose the simplest, most direct solution with the fewest number of steps.

(source: Agefi) PDF FR