I confess, I am an insatiable reader. I read whatever comes my way; the back of cereal boxes, the emergency instruction sheet when I’m flying, even the year-old magazine in the dentist office. But it’s all good, I can acquire fresh understanding even from older information. Recently, when reading an item about, Tim Cook the CEO of Apple I came upon an extraordinarily keen perception about the nature of how to keep things simple. Mr. Cook suggests that –

“Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much.”

I freely admit that at time, I was not particularly struck by Mr. Cook’s observation. I saw it only as a modest play on words. However, after further reflection, I began to see the much deeper substance and truth of his statement. The mystery of achieving simplicity is by pursuing and attaining the elusive balance between “too much and too little”.

I have always felt that simplicity was a fundamental ingredient of a successful management system; however, after being introduced to Mr. Cook’s thoughts, I have now realized that maintaining a management system’s balance is as equally significant to success. Thinking in these terms, everything about an effective management system will become a question of maintaining the proper balance – which in turn will result in the desired system simplicity. Attaining this balance ultimately lies with making challenging choices. Choosing that option that suits the organization’s best interest. By establishing and maintaining an equitable balance goes far in ensuring that the organization’s leadership and workforce will be fully equipped to generate the appropriate decisions that will eventually affect the organization’s operational balance; between risk and opportunity, change or status quo.

When faced with the need to shape or renew a management system, establish a new process, or begin the next project, it is still the desire to keep it simple and to accomplish this you will wish to establish an essential balance. How? First by knowing the necessities of your organization, including the demands of the customer, the other stake holders, your product, and your market. With this awareness you then ascertain how the new/modified process, plan or system will respond and react with these needs.  Now comes the hard work for you need to make choses and establish priorities between these recognized needs and your new wants – finding the exact medium between too little and too much.

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