Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another original quote .....

I love the connections I’ve made through Blogging in the last three and a half years. I’m indebted today to yet another virtual friend, Peter Dawson from Canada who I’ve never met but occasionally communicated with via e mail and Blogging.

Thanks Peter for this marvellous quote:

“Simplicity is hard to build, easy to use, and hard to charge for. Complexity is easy to build, hard to use, and easy to charge for.”

This is where the original quote came from.

Cheers Peter – As we say in England - I owe you a pint!


Peter said...

Hey Trevor,
that quote was Chris Sacca. Chris was Head of Special Initiatives at Google Inc.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Peter - isn't it wonderful how through technology we can now easily share these things? - the world is indeed a small village

Best my friend.

Joel D Canfield said...

This concept is one reason I'm getting away from charging for 'hours' in my consulting. We do so much that we don't keep track of (some tasks are so tiny that logging the time would take longer than the task, so now, do I charge for logging the time, too? and then, do I charge for the time to log the time? aaaah!)

But if I can explain to a client what I'll accomplish for them, and we agree up front on a reasonable way to measure a desired outcome, nobody cares (at least they shouldn't) how many 'hours' I spent.

My job is to build simplicity into my clients' work. Sometimes the work I'm getting paid for is to tell the client something they already know! Accountability mentoring seems, from the client's perspective, dead simple. But if I'm doing it right, it takes enormous organizational and psychological effort to make it 'simple.'

Trevor Gay said...

A great example thanks Joel.

When I think about how my ‘contract’ in a corporate job used to say how many hours I was expected to work I realise how silly that is.

It is far more meaningful to start from a ‘what outcomes are we expecting’ viewpoint and then allowing people to do the hours it takes to complete the task.

I like to agree a rate for the job with my clients so they know how much my invoice will be – it has to be simple for them. The complexity for me is to make sure I am not underselling myself and being fair to both client and self.

David Wike said...

Paying people to work for a certain number of hours a day may not be entirely sensible but paying them to achieve certain tasks has its weaknesses too. When Rover Group was part of BMW, senior managers had a contract that didn’t specify hours of work. We were required to achieve certain objectives. Of course, this can be quite difficult to define and so we tended to carry on as before i.e. working more hours than the ‘normal’ office day.

It was notable that the arrival and departure times of our German colleagues were much more varied than ours (arriving later and leaving earlier usually!). It was also noted that they operated in a very compartmentalised way. They did their part of the task and then ‘tossed it over the fence’ to the next person in the process. There seemed little inclination to help out someone else with his or her tasks. This was probably because they could receive a bonus of up to 20% of their base salary for achieving all of their objectives. This encouraged a focus on their own particular objectives and to hell with everyone else. Having said that, it obviously works for them as they are a successful company.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks for that Dave – like you I have ‘done’ both systems – hours based or outcome based.

I see no correlation between a higher number of hours worked and effectiveness of outcome. I often feel nowadays the less time I spend on a task the higher my productivity.

It is fascinating to hear of your experience with the different culture of German workers. It sounds like they got it ‘more right’ on the bottom line than we did!