Thursday, August 24, 2017

Three Benefits Of Strategic Simplicity



1.  Complexity is a huge, self-imposed business tax.


2. Clarity provides motivation to both customers and employees.  Confused people don't act.


3. Simple processes make you capable of executing fast, explosive changes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How To Write An Effective Email in 3 Steps


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Praveen Puri <praveen@puriconsulting.com>
To: "john_doe@acme.com" <john_doe@acme.com> 
Cc: "jane_doe@acme.com" <jane_doe@acme.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 6:25 AM
Subject: How To Write An Effective Email in 3 Steps

John:

1. Get right to the point.

2. Only cover one issue in one email.

3. Be brief.  Err on the side of less background / info.  Recipient can always ask for more.

Regards,
 
Praveen Puri
Strategic Simplicity℠
President, Puri Consulting LLC

Monday, August 21, 2017

Why Sloths Are No Deadly Sin


Sloths used to be considered boring, useless animals who hang in trees all day.  Being slothful was looked down upon—a "deadly" sin.

Now, the Wall Street Journal has become the latest media outlet to write about how sloths are exploding in popularity.  They are one of the most popular animals in the zoo and, unfortunately, people are starting to want to keep them as pets (which isn't good, since some species are endangered).

Why are sloths so popular?  Why are people having visceral actions, and crying while watching them (do nothing)?

I think it's a reaction to our times, which I called the "Attention Scarcity Age".  We have left the Information Age.  Now, we are drowning in information and big data. We tweet in sound bites and rush around, always on call.

Sloths thrive by doing less and appear to be in contemplation.  People today are thirsty for ease, a slower pace, and less chaos.

This is one of the reasons that Strategic Simplicity℠  is so important for businesses today. Your customers, employees, and suppliers are all overworked and overwhelmed.  You are fighting to attract their attention and loyalty.

One of the best ways is through incorporating simplicity throughout your business.  I help my clients with 4 types of simplicity: market simplicity, decision simplicity, user simplicity, and operational simplicity.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Crazy Medicine! No User Simplicity in Healthcare


Here is yet another reason why U.S. Healthcare is not an example of strategic simplicity:

A relative was paying $63/month for medicine because the pharmacist said his insurance company didn't cover it.

We told the doctor that the medicine wasn't covered, but he said he prescribed the generic.

We went back to the pharmacy and told them that it's the generic.  The pharmacist contacted the insurance company.

It turns out that they don't cover 20mg pills, but they cover 40 mg.  So, as long as he orders twice the strength, and splits the pills, he pays $0!

Talk about crazy medicine!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thought Leadership and Business


Two of the four areas of Strategic Simplicitythat I help my clients with are market and decision simplicity. This means making it easy for customers to understand your business and decide whether to do business with you. 

This is important because we are no longer in the Information Age—we are in the Attention Scarcity Age.  Everyone is bombarded by messages and drowning in information. 

Nobody wants to sit through boring commercials or complicated spiels, but they will watch "infotainment"—non-promotional content that both entertains and informs. 

This is what thought leadership is all about. It means considering yourself as an expert, and creating content ( articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.) that provokes, informs, educates, and entertains your audience—as opposed to simply creating advertising.

The content you produce and give away should have only one goal: adding value to the person consuming it.  It should never directly self-promote. Ideally, it should be so valuable that your audience would have gladly paid for it.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How Important is User Design and Simplicity in Software?


I am a management consultant who specializes in the four areas of strategic simplicity: market simplicity, decision simplicity, user simplicity, and operational simplicity.

How important is user simplicity / design, especially with software?  

It can change an entire corporate strategy.

I consulted and worked for a large multinational bank that developed an IT strategy to develop it's own web portal—which would eventually serve as the user interface for all of its legacy applications.  They even hired away some key executives from a prominent travel website, who were responsible for the travel site's state of the art portal design.

Around the same time, this bank entered the Chicago area and bought a local bank 1/10 its size. The larger bank expected to shut down the smaller bank's technology group and move customers to it's platform.

It turned out that the small local bank's software was rated much higher than the larger bank's in a survey conducted by a prominent banking magazine.  Their user interface was so good that the larger bank had to do an about-face with its strategy.

They ended up scrapping plans for its own portal, and they ended up shutting down the larger bank's software and switching to the smaller bank's platform.  The newly hired key portal executives ended up leaving, and the smaller bank's technology executives (who thought they would lose their jobs) ended up running the larger bank's tech operations.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Six Steps For Streamlining Business Success



1. Focus on results / outputs, not inputs or processes.


2. Treat co-workers / internal customers as well as external customers.


3. Focus on 80% success—not perfection.


4. Continually raise the bar on providing value to customers.


5. Focus your efforts on your best 20% of customers.


6. Use micro projects to continually test / fail / iterate new forms of value.