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Support Cost Reductions Through Simplification with Processes

Feb 11, 2008
Most people have ideas for making organizational processes simpler and better at lower cost. Why? Because people become frustrated with the many foolish ways that they either receive or deliver offerings. While they are being stalled by this foolishness, stakeholders will often reflect on how an improved alternative could be created. That's the good news.

The bad news is that these potentially helpful ideas have no clear outlet. Those who come up with the ideas don't know what to do with them. What's the protocol? Who do you tell? What do you tell them?

Chances are that your organization has a number of people in it who enjoy simplifying and improving things. That potential for enjoyment probably isn't being fully satisfied by their current duties.

Check to see if any of these people would be interested in receiving suggestions from stakeholders. If so, you've got a starting point.

Ask someone who is interested to head a study group to create a process for simplifying processes. Give the person only one direction: Involve as many people as possible to get ideas and later to evaluate the most promising suggestions and proposals.

While Tom Golisano was CEO of Paychex, the firm had an effective process for simplification. At weekly meetings of the organization's most senior officers, one agenda item was to propose new ideas for simplification, both for existing offerings and new ones.

Keeping that focus, the officers reported that they were always asking people for any ideas they already had, observing what was being done to spot possible simplifications and discussing balky steps with those who might develop good ideas for better methods.

Here are questions that you can use to help you simplify, simplify again, and simplify some more:

-How can you simplify your business model?

-What business model simplifications can you make based on only delivering what stakeholders (customers, beneficiaries, partners, suppliers, employees, distributors, shareholders, lenders, and the communities in which you operate and serve) need and want?

-Which customers, users, and beneficiaries can you focus on who need the least resources for you to supply them with what they want?

-How can you involve your stakeholders in looking for ideas that simplify your tasks?

-How can you gain help from partners to achieve near-perfect results?

-What simplifications can you apply to each remaining step in your newly simplified business model that will expand stakeholder benefits?

-In what ways can you simplify simplification through adding inspiring purposes for what you do, using better leadership methods, and creating simplification processes?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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