“In our age of complexity, simplicity is one of the most powerful ways to add value and stand above all the mediocrity and complacency.”
~ Lisa Bodell, When Simple Wins
We all know that feeling of being overwhelmed by unproductive meetings, plagued by never ending email chains, and to do lists that continue to expand, no matter how hard we are working. Many of us have spent 12 hour days at the office feeling frustrated by how little we have accomplished and how slow things seem to be moving forward. How can we help ourselves, our teams and our companies out of these trenches and create more space for work that is truly valuable? How can we think big and think ahead?
Well, this episode’s guest, Lisa Bodell can help with that. Lisa is a simplification expert with a burning passion for eliminating barriers to innovation and productivity in the workplace. A globally recognised innovation leader and futurist, she is CEO of futurethink, a company she founded to help organisations embrace change and increase their capacity for innovation. Over the past few years, Lisa and her team have radically simplified working processes for the likes of Google, Novartis, Accenture and many more industry leaders. She also serves as a global council member of the World Economic Forum, is a monthly columnist for Strategy + Business as well as a frequent contributor to Forbes and Harvard Business Review.
This is the second time we have had Lisa on the show with us. You can check out her previous podcast here where she introduces some tools from her award-winning simplification bible, Kill the Company and paints a portrait of her ideal leader – the space creator.
In this episode, Lisa and Mark reconvene to share more essential tools for leaders and teams to simplify their work environment from her second book Why Simple Wins (check out my book review on Amazon here); they explore insights into how companies like SAP, Southwest Airlines and Syngenta are putting simplification principles into action; and get a sneak peak at her favourite tool killing complexity that you can try out for yourself and your team by clicking here.
Join us to learn how simplicity can give you and your organisation the competitive edge of our time! Let us know what you thought in the comment section below.
What Was Covered
[3:10] Why is it important for companies to create space in innovation and how can companies go about doing that?
[7:35] Does technology hinder us? Yes! It’s a tool, but it’s also a massive distraction.
[8:20] This doesn’t just apply to large corporations. It also applies to startups too.
[10:10] We have an addiction to ‘more,’ and this is due to our fear of missing out.
[10:25] Nobody gets rewarded for ‘less.’
[11:25] What are some of the warning signs that people should look out for?
[13:20] It’s a difficult balance. Companies want you to innovate, but not that much. People are operating with handcuffs.
[13:45] Until we get comfortable with less, we’ll be unable to achieve more.
[14:35] What kind of tools can people use to get better at doing less?
[18:00] Lisa discusses how simplicity worked for SouthWest Airlines.
[21:55] Reward your employees for simplicity, not for being busy. A big mindset shift happens.
[27:00] When you focus on simplicity within an organization, your employees are happier and are less likely to leave.
[32:15] Before you spend your time on a task, ask, “Is this valuable?”
[35:55] How does Lisa simplify her life?
[37:15] What has Lisa changed her mind about recently?
[38:05] What does Lisa do to remain creative and innovative?
[39:15] What does Lisa attribute her success to in life?
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