Why Senior Executives Struggle to Simplify their Business

Sometimes I feel executives are addicted to complexity.

They have easier solutions in front of them but they struggle to see them. As if what looks easier is less effective.

In my experience, there are a few reasons why executives tend to overcomplicate their business: 👇

  • Fear of failure

Some are afraid to take risks and make decisions, so they try to control every aspect of the business. This often leads to overcomplicated processes and procedures that make it difficult to be agile and responsive to change.

  • Analysis paralysis

It’s great to live in the digital world but it’s equally easy to get bogged down in data and analysis. Result: paralysis by analysis, where executives are so focused on gathering information that they never take action.

  • The illusion of control

Our brains have a natural tendency to overestimate our ability to control events. As a result, executives believe that they can manage all of the variables that affect their success, which can lead to overcomplicated planning and decision-making.

  • The need for certainty

Our brains crave certainty. Fair but often executives try to create overly rigid systems and processes in an attempt to control the future. However, the world is inherently unpredictable, so these efforts are ultimately useless.

My advice: 👇

  • Be ambitious
  • Stay elevated
  • Accept ambiguity
  • Focus on the big picture
  • Stay curious to see what you’re not seeing yet

Complexity is the enemy of growth.

Go and simplify.

Update: I’ve just uploaded on YouTube my previous conversation with Renee McGowan, CEO of Marsh McLennan India, Middle East & Africa. We discussed diversity, culture, and performance. Watch it here

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