CONTI Evolution in the Media

Simplicity: What Bruce Lee can Teach Us About Business and Life

Colby Harder - Thursday, October 27, 2016
I have a quote on my desk at work and it reads, simply:

Image result for Bruce Lee - simplicity cultivationImage result for Bruce Lee - simplicity cultivation

As a business leader in a complex industry and in an ever more complex world, I use this simple quote to help guide  my thinking.  I have become continually hungry to achieve greater simplicity in life and in business. I fight daily internal and external battles (both inside my head and out) that force me to think more rationally about our approach to technology and our approach to business. 

However, Simplicity doesn't necessarily mean simple.   Simplicity is a series of processes and practices that can deliver better results for your business and helps you deliver value for your customers.  In our business we can drive process simplicity, product simplicity, and communication simplicity.  All of these things make life better.  Some ways in which we strive to drive simplicity:

- Ordering multiple components from a single supplier (less paperwork, less tracking, faster deliver)
- Daily Huddles (fast, effective meetings with fast communication that saves hundred of emails, and keeps our team aligned) 
- Value Engineering (finding a way to achieve system functionality with less components saves time and money) 

Here's a few examples of simplicity driving better business results for us and our clients: 

1. Simplicity Delivers Faster Information and Faster Decisions
When a client calls us to provide advice, one of the first questions we ask them is whether they'd like to accept a proposal from us based upon a recent success project for another similar client.  By duplicating a recent successful project with similar scope, i'm able to turn around a proposal in minutes rather than hours.  Clients love this.

2. Simplicity Helps us Save You Money 
When we keep solutions simple, both internally and for clients, we are able to reduce the amount of product required and are able to save time.  This all saves us, and our clients money.  Win / Win!

3. Simplicity means Faster Deliveries
An example of driving simplicity is for us to design a system that sources all parts from a single supplier.  When we do this, we only have to generate one order to the supplier and there's only one shipment to track.  The result is that we can deliver fast, making client happier. 

4. Simplicity Drives Faster Completion
A simple system design is delivered fast, requires fewer components, and will be completed sooner.  Everyone wins.

5. Simplicity is More Reliable
If we can design a solution with fewer component, simpler operation and streamlined operation it will break less often, be easier to use, and require less user support.

6. Simplicity Makes the User Experience Better 
This takes some thinking to achieve, however, in the systems we develop, ease of operation is key.  Our users want systems that give them simple operation and ease of use.  User training on systems is a productivity killer.

In constantly striving for simplicity, we are constantly driving to make things  faster, easier, and more cost effective.  Our work continues... 

How can simplicity add value in your business?  Send me  your ideas to colbyh@conti.ca.  I look forward to the dialog!