By Jim Coyle

“Jim, we just need to make sure we get all the details and every part of the process documented, so people don’t mess it up anymore.”

“I think we just need to give our clients more choices.  If we had 10 to 15 options, then they would get exactly what they want.”

“What we need is a more detailed plan, so we are all on the same page.”

I have heard countless variations of these comments over the 25 years I have been working with companies. Many times, the comments seem very logical, almost hard to argue with, but what I have found is that often the real issue isn’t that there needed to be more details, more choices, or more options; instead, what was needed was more understanding.  Understanding of the real need, or understanding of the why, or understanding of the actual reason.  Or, as we would say in EOS®, they need to really identify (or understand) the root of the issue.

Recently, I was working with one of the amazing EOS Implementers® I work with through EOS Worldwide. We were working on a client of his that had an incentive program.  He described in detail what was going on and what kept coming to my mind is that they don’t understand what they are doing. Even more importantly, it didn’t feel like they knew what they want to accomplish.  My mentee thought they were overcomplicating things.  I couldn’t have agreed more as I said, “I think we overcomplicate the things we don’t understand.”  A light bulb went off for me.  I do this all the time, and I think I’m not alone.

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It manifests in many different ways.  We go on and on explaining something we don’t really understand.  We give too many options because we don’t really know what our clients need.  We give an abundance of details, thinking it will make things clearer.  We think more words will make our message easier to understand.  Granted, these are not the only reasons we may do these things, but I would bet many times it is the underlying cause.

Ask yourself: are there things you and your team are overcomplicating?  Are your processes overcomplicated?  Have you had to explain something over and over and over again?  Do you give your clients too many options?   Are your plans too detailed?  If so, try to get to the root of why and really begin to understand the issue at hand. Once you and your team have a clear understanding of the issue(s), less might be more.

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