I think we like to tie a lot of things. And the growing complexity of living and working in an increasingly digital world is only driving our tendency to do so. In both our personal and business lives, we all want to know as much as we can about a problem and believe that it will help us devise a path for the best solution.
In the business world, sometimes we are so fascinated that we become obsessed with learning more. More about our operations and how we can improve them, more about our customers and their markets, and more about the competitors waiting to outrank us if we don’t research, plan, and implement flawlessly.
Knowledge is power
“Knowledge is power”, as Sir Francis Bacon put it in the pre-digital year 1597. But I would like to quote some other great thinkers on the subject a little differently – an approach that I find increasingly useful in running a business where decisions are trustworthy. self often makes the difference between winning and losing.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
“Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“It takes a lot of work to do something simple.” – Steve Jobs
Do you see where I’m going? There is a huge advantage in simplifying things – being able to mute noise, mute external opinions, and connect with our basic thinking. This allows us to trust our instincts and see what others cannot. And here is the opportunity.
What if you think fundamentally?
Thinking about the basics gives us the freedom to dream big and set goals that seem crazy to others – even to ourselves.
Jeff Bezos’ ultimate goal is to become the most customer-centric company in the world before anyone even knew what Amazon was. It is woven into the fabric of Amazonian culture and many would say they did.
However, they make it an instant customer experience with simple, simple steps. That’s how Uber, Apple, and thousands of other successful companies got to where they are today, and that’s how companies like Tesla will get us to Mars – and maybe even further.
In this way, not only business-critical solutions can be scaled up. This basic mindset is also useful in making day-to-day tactical decisions, and I encourage any business owner to try this method.
How can you think in fundamentals
Define goals and simplify components. The inevitable becomes much more likely than previously thought. Take a break from the CEO’s point of view and work as an engineer instead.
The next time you hear someone (including yourself) say something is impossible, ask yourself what it does. Once the outline of the obstacles is outlined, simple solutions can emerge for everyone.