Monday, January 25, 2010

7 Practical Simplicity tips

I am often challenged with words to the effect:

"It's ok Trevor you going on about all this simplicity stuff but how the hell can we make anything more simple when we are so busy getting on with the job? Just give us some practical ideas"

My Response?

As a manager it is your job to make things simpler.

Here are 7 things you can introduce immediately to make things simpler in your job and your organisation.

1 When you have written your next report ask two people who are paid significantly less than you to tell you honestly if they understood it fully

2 At your team meeting every week or every month depending on the frequency of meetings, ask someone to do a five minute presentation called (without using PowerPoint) “My big simplicity idea for our team is …..”

3 Invite a customer to read three emails or letters you have sent in the previous week and ask them to give you feedback about the language you used

4 Invite two 16 year old students who are friends to attend your team meeting and ask them to give the team members honest feedback at the end of the meeting about the language used

5 Find a report about absolutely anything two sides of A4 long. Send the report to a colleague and ask him/her to return it to you reduced to one side of A4. Judge for yourself whether one side is adequate to get the message over

6 Ask one of your team members to write a story on one side of A4 called “A complicated problem in this department/team explained for an audience of secondary school students (11-16 year olds). Send the story to a local schoolteacher and ask for feedback from the students at his/her school

7 Send a report you have written to 2 Cleaners and 2 junior Clerical staff.

Ask the four of them to rate your report on a scale of 0 to 10.

0 = I did not understand it at all

10 = I understood it completely

Think about how you can improve your score in your next report. If you score 40 points, congratulations you are the new Simplicity Guru

1 comment:

J.KANNAN said...

Very good 7 tips for Managers to follow,try and implement.

Language bears utmost importance in oral as well written communication to make it effective and easy to understand by the receiver of the communication. If your language in communication is simpler rest everything can be made simpler-that's how I view it.