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Complexity kills execution – Game Stop lessons

The more complex things are, the harder it is for people to understand; thus, complexity kills execution. Have you seen all the news stories about Game Stop and Robinhood? For the casual observer, it sounds as if those in the financial industry are speaking another language. Most people know there is something going on, they just don’t know what it is.

Have you ever travelled through a large international airport, in which hundreds of conversations were happening around you and you didn’t even think to stop long enough to see what anyone was saying. In other words, you knew they were talking, but you also knew you couldn’t speak their language so you didn’t bother even listening.

Whatever industry you find yourself in, the same lessons can be applied. The closer we are to the work we do, we can potentially drift away from those we serve. We create solutions, but they aren’t interested. You launch a new program, but nobody signs up. We make a modification to an existing product, but the end user struggles to see the value.

One main reason is the complexity of our language, based on us being too close to the process. We are starting at Step 3, while the customer is at Step 1. Everything seems simple to us, but the solution isn’t for us, it is for those we are serving.

To gain maximum impact, we must follow the advice of the late Steve Jobs during his second time at Apple. When those around him would enter his office and pitch a new idea, they would often exit the meeting and say, “He just hit my idea with the simple stick.” What did that mean? He meant it was too complex and he knew complexity kills execution.

In our work in disability services, we are always looking for better ways to communicate with those we serve. This includes clients, parents, conservators, and agency partners. If they do not fully understand the plan, how could they ever support it away from The STAR Center?

Has this ever happened to you? If so, leave a comment below about how you overcame the challenge.

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