In the world of business, achieving simplicity amid complexity is essential. This involves adopting a holistic perspective, uncovering unexpected benefits, and striving for elegant solutions. Holistic thinking helps unravel complex issues, making business strategies more efficient and effective.
Frank van Hooff is 61 years of age. He 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 a 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.
He made the swift from accounting to IT when ERP became hot and happening. He Learned a lot from defining a global kernel for Philips – present in 40+ countries. Frank’s 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 ABN AMRO 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 fulfill 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:
1. Prepare; you have to know very well and filter 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?”.
2. If you have the list of essentials, make absolutely sure these are used and 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 is not simple to get to that point, if you can, it is heaven
The conversations on The Business Simplicity Podcast are inspired by the Simple Business Design framework, which is described in detail in the Simplicity Toolkit. Get it below for free!