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6 ways to simplify the workplace


I’ve written a bit recently about the increasing complexity of our workplaces, and the consequence of this for how leadership should subsequently behave.  I would like to think that the era of make and sell is nearing its end as it struggles to deal with the overwhelming complexity faced by our organisations.

The following TED talk delivered by Yves Morieux from the Boston Consulting Group looks at how we can begin to deal with the complexity of the modern work world.  He outlines six simple rules by which we can attempt to simplify the workplace:

  1. Understand what others do - What do people really do? Not just their job descriptions but what they really do.
  2. Reinforce integrators - Give managers power to help them improve coordination.  Remove rules and layers to help them.
  3. Increase total quantity of powers - Give people the power to make their own decisions and use their own judgement
  4. Extend the shadow of the future – Create feedback loops so that people appreciate the consequences of their actions
  5. Increase reciprocity – Remove the buffers that make us self-sufficient and make people cooperate
  6. Reward those who cooperate – Use the reward lever to focus on collaborative behaviours

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