Move Over Mission Statement … Meet The Simplicity Vision Statement

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Ian Schneider via Unsplash

The mission statement of the last century has evolved into the vision statement for simplicity today. Instead of a trendy paragraph, the Vision statement helps you explain why simplification is important to your business and how it will help you achieve your strategic goals.

Using this exercise, a large US utility realized that a lack of decision-making made things too difficult internally. They were then able to designate the right decision makers, reduce the number of approvals and speed up many internal processes.

To get that kind of clarity for your business, try the following technique for creating your own simplicity vision statement. Individually or in groups, start by drawing a line down the center of a piece of paper or whiteboard, dividing it into two columns.

On the left side, you’ll enter rough answers to a series of questions about simplification. Then later, on the right side, you’ll polish your notes into strong, specific statements. Let’s start by going over the visualization questions.

  1. Why is simplification important for our organization?
  2. What three things, when simplified, will have the most impact on our jobs or our business?
  3. In what ways could we experience more simplicity at work every day?
  4. If we simplify the way we work, what will be the financial, behavioral or efficiency results?
  5. How will we know when our job / business unit / function is simplified?
  6. What new simplification skills are we going to use on a daily basis?
  7. In a year, how did we make simplification a habit?
  8. Looking back, what has been our biggest obstacle to simplification?
  9. In one sentence, what does simplicity mean to us?
  10. What will simplification help us achieve, both personally and professionally?
  11. If we hadn’t made simplification a habit, what would have happened?

Since you’re going to polish the raw notes for the left column into polished statements for the right column, let’s take this approach for question # 11 above.

For this one, it helps to switch into a state of mind of the future. How will your company’s one-year or five-year plan be impacted if people don’t simplify now? Are you going to lose staff? Will your products continue to miss their late launch? Will your customers go elsewhere?

Think about as many missed opportunities as possible that might result from returning to the status quo. Once you’ve listed them, move on to polishing each one into a compelling statement.

For example, if you think the loss of staff is probably the result of non-simplification – a recent Deloitte study actually indicates this side effect – expand these notes in a statement. Transform the phrase “we are going to lose people” to something more specific like “we are going to lose key talent to our competition”.

Likewise, if you have mentioned any products that are always late to the market, expand it into an explicit statement like “we’re going to lose millions on the two innovations in our pipeline because we haven’t reached early adopters.” “.

If you quoted “customers will go elsewhere”, quantify your statement in more concrete terms, such as “our three biggest accounts will move their money to a more agile competitor”.

Considering the effects of not by simplifying with the rewards to get rid of the complexity, you are much better equipped to be successful. The Simplicity Vision Statement is designed to align your organization with what’s possible and what needs to change now in order to achieve this vision in the future.



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