the business

simplicity

podcast

Complexity Creates Itself with Frank van Hooff

Episode 171 – 13 December 2022

Frank started his career at Philips Electronics directly after fulfilling his military service at age 20. Combined that with evening studies. He himself often proclaims not having large theoretical background has the advantage you suffer less from bias to tackle issues – later that was called “being able to think outside the box”.

He started in accounting, but quickly saw the opportunities of ICT, just starting up in the early days of his working life. Made the swift from accounting to IT when ERP became hot and happening.

Learned a lot from defining a global kernel for Philips – present in 40+ countries. After altogether 29 years of service at Philips, lastly as an architect for accounting, consolidation, fiscal and legal, he switched to the financial institute arena. First at DLL (Rabobank lease affiliate, as IT responsible for innovation) and later to ABNAMRO Lease as an enterprise architect.

The various roles forced him to think about how to remain consistent in management support (including reporting of course), as well as how to keep the flexibility to fulfil the spread of local (legal) requirements. And here is where the simplicity journey of Frank began – and he never left that path since. And if there are golden tips on how to achieve simplicity, these are Frank’s;

First, you can prepare by knowing very well what are the essential characteristics. In that sense, you really have to master the topic. Essential characteristics can be found “easily” because there is always a clear answer to the question: “which (management) decisions will be influenced if these characteristics are not (or no longer) available?”.

Second, once you have the list of essentials, make absolutely sure these are used / registered in the purest form. Pollution equals adding complexity. Nice to-haves are permitted as long as they don’t add complexity = don’t pollute the essentials.

With these simple rules, you make everyone’s life easy and simple. However, it takes effort to get to that point but if you can then you can achieve the simplicity nirvana!

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fpavanhooff/

You can also discover Frank’s son, Willem, on the podcast!  Discover it here: https://ebullient.com/podcast/willemvanhooff/

The conversations on The Business Simplicity Podcast are inspired by the Simplicity Scan, which is described in detail in the Simplicity Toolkit.  Get it below for free!

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