If it’s too complicated to understand it’s probably total nonsense

I stand on the periphery of “improvement activities” going on elsewhere in the organisation.

I see things second and third hand through organisational gossip, i.e. people mentioning phrases or names of IT companies doing work elsewhere, somewhere. I’ve got no involvement in it thankfully though.

Despite working in a corporate position, i have no idea what these activities actually are, and when they’re explained, in reports or in person, i still don’t. They’re totally opaque. Just words without any seeming concrete activity behind them. I’m sure there is activity, all sorts of meetings and lots of workshops and theme boards. But it’s completely mystifying what any of it actually IS.

I think this is because they’re mainly IT projects. IT projects being a synonym for improvement projects in normal ordinary command and control organisations. And I’m not an IT professional, so why would i understand? I don’t.

But there must be SOME activities that aren’t IT projects, got to be, but any mention of these still are opaque and don’t reveal what they actually are.

This stands in total contrast to any actual improvement activities I’ve seen or read about. They seem to be REALLY straight forward. You find out what the customer needs, and you help them get it. That’s it. Everything is reorganised around that simple thing, the purpose of the system is to help the customer. Wherever IT appears it’s in the context of serving that purpose. Pulled in because it’s needed.

So i don’t think I’m thick. I think the scary thing could be that all these activities are just total nonsense. Money and time being thrown at services to make them more more complex, cos simple things are easy to understand. Adding IT rarely is a simplifying action if it is pushed, if it is leading the redesign then it’s mucking things right up with unneeded complexity and waste.

I’m thinking that if it’s too hard to understand, that’s because there’s nothing there to understand. There’s SOMETHING there, obviously, just not something worth understanding.

I’m not advocating some kind of Brexit/Trump style bonfire of ideas and experts. But the basics ARE simple.

Eat food, not too much, mainly plants. Move your body, don’t smoke, don’t over drink. That’s easy.

Don’t fight European wars on two fronts. Facebook makes you sad. Nature makes you happy. Dead simple.

Design your organisation so maximum value flows to the customer with minimal waste, and keep on improving it. Easy as.

Rule of thumb: if it’s complicated, it’s​ probably rubbish. If it’s simple, at least you can tell if it is sooner.

This entry was posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, public sector, systems thinking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to If it’s too complicated to understand it’s probably total nonsense

  1. biddly says:

    Very good TP, especially like the Michael Pollen quote re plants, it’s one of my favourites, keep up the good work!


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