Sunday, February 3, 2013

SIMPLICITY: The New Competitive Advantage

Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, FasterSimplicity: The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, Faster by Bill Jensen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I could not agree more strongly with the title of this book. Simpler will yield a competitive advantage. The truth though is that I'm too far down the food-chain to make any substantive changes. Everything I do (and my 200+ employees) is directed by procedures that can't be bent, shaped, altered, or otherwise made simpler. The processes are written and enforced by the departments often referred to as "support functions." Without elaborating, there's huge irony in that description. Regrettably, this book is not simple. It's so loaded with jargon and corp-speak that I was instantly turned off; yet, I trudged on for several hundred pages looking for some guidance, something concrete that I could take back to work with me. Alas, it's not there. It's mostly pages and pages of propaganda aimed at convincing me that simplicity is next to godliness (I might be exaggerating a little), but I don't need convincing. I believe it, I've embraced the concept--but, tell me how to make it happen from the middle. The market for this book is a tiny little niche within the senior level of corporate managers (who often don't want simpler), or to autonomous department heads (who depend on complexity for security).



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