In his book titled, “Simplify Work”, author Jesse W. Newton points out a growing problem in today’s businesses that undermines productivity, stifles innovation, and, as a result, significantly reduces profitability. That problem, simply put, is complexity. He observes companies being, “bogged down in a spaghetti of structure, process, systems, and rules.”
This is a common phenomenon many of us have either observed or experienced at least once. You know the scenario, a company’s workflow is smooth, the organization is consistently profitable, then the company is purchased or taken over by a new crew that has very strict and unbending ideas on how to improve what’s already working well. Suddenly, there’s countless new procedures, a mountain of managers one must get approvals from to requisition a pencil, and another army of supervisors who must sign the forms allowing the user to sharpen said pencil.
The new crew encourages employees to share their ideas and suggestions. But employees soon learn that management only favors ideas that create more work as opposed to ideas that work. Suddenly, the unwritten rule goes, it’s not what you do, but how late you stay that ensures success. Of course, that success rarely, if ever, surfaces and soon the new managers increase profits the only way they know how: terminations.
This is a very mild observation of the situation, but a very accurate one. Complexity, in an age when the tools are available to streamline and simplify every process known to humans, is not only unnecessary, but unforgiveable.
Unlike typical self-help business books that teach one how work and survive in a broken system as opposed to fixing the broken system, Mr. Newton lays out the problems simply (no pun intended), and just as simply provides readers with the tools to simply fix them. He pinpoints the common and esoteric complexities that can strangle a business, then provides the methods to eliminate them and strategies to ensure they don’t happen in the first place or return.
As the book is short and a very easy read, I feel it would be an insult to the author to list examples here. The book is also easy to obtain and will certainly not break anyone’s business or personal budget.
One thing I would point out is this book will be most helpful for anyone running their own business and/or thinking of starting their own business. As a reference, it would also be beneficial to employees of established companies, however they should consider their present situation before sharing any ideas of simplification with their managers and supervisors. The reason for that is obvious and need not be stated.
In conclusion, I would definitely recommend reading “Simplify Work” by Jesse W. Newton. The book is available now in eBook format and will be available February 2019 in Trade Paperback at bookstores nationwide and online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. With a definite grasp of 21st Century issues, I believe Mr. Newton’s book is up there in the top nine business books of the modern age, right next to “How to Be Rich” by J. Paul Getty.
Jesse W. Newton is the founder and CEO of Simplify Work, a global consultancy that specializes in unburdening organizations from stifling and paralyzing complexity. Clients include Mondelez International, McDonalds Corporation, and PepsiCo. For more details, visit the Simplify Work website and/or email info requests to [email protected].