Irrespective of who you are — some of your biggest challenges stemmed from a complicated issue that could’ve been avoided if you’d chosen the simpler alternative. But you did’t and instead chose to suffer the consequences.
Organisations are no different. In fact, the tendency to make the simple complicated is even higher given the time and resources (you) they have. And then they spent an enormous amount of time, resources and money to go back to simple. Think about some of the greatest methodologies used in the business — Lean, Agile, and your favourite Japanese term that relates to efficiency — they all in essence focus on simplifying.
The real question is why the heck do we complicate our lives in the first place? I believe there are two primary reasons:
- Desire for constant change — it’s constant state because we’re wired to aim higher once we get to where we want to. The problem is that we often aim too high or just aim for way too many things than we can handle. That’s why its normal to have a person slog for years to get out of debt only to buy a shiny new luxury car next month!
- Boredom — imagine what would happen if this person doesn’t do anything after getting out of debt? He’ll get bored to death! (Unless, of course, he gets lucky enough to get financially literate.) And what do they do next? Buy a shiny new car! Get into debt, again!
- Busy equals important — I’m pretty sure you know someone who’s busy like hell but doesn’t have anything to show for? I know quite a few. And they’re all awesome at staying busy because they like the idea of being perceived as busy because culturally we feel busy people are important people. We know from experience that the best way to keep busy is to complicate things unnecessarily.
Alright, I know the reasons above are stupid. But almost everyone does it. Some are recovering from it while other are trying to overcomplicate it even further, which impacts their work and the people around them.
I’m not sure if there’s a way around it but to call it out and actively discourage people to play stupid. Let me tell you, it takes guts to do that.